PGAS Winter/Spring 2017 Program Schedule










PGAS monthly programs are held on the second Tuesday of each month, September through June, in partnership with the Patuxent Bird Club, a chapter of the Maryland Ornithological Society.  There are no programs scheduled in the summer months.  PGAS members are encouraged to attend monthly meetings and non-members are always welcome.

The formal program always begins at 7:30 pm, but doors open at 7:00 for informal conversation, refreshments, and exchange of birding news.  Each program opens with brief statements from leaders of both clubs about upcoming events, items of interest and other club business, followed by the featured speaker with a question-and-answer period afterwards. 

Click on the location links below for directions and click on the program dates for more information about the presentations.

DATE
LOCATION
SPEAKER
TOPIC
January 10
College Park Airport Operations Building
Phil Davis
The Azores and Madeira Islands: Endemics and Island Beauty
February 14
Ken Cohen
Gearing Up: Tools & Tech
March 14
Gregory Kearns
Brazil: Rio, Iguazu  and the Pantanal
April 11 Gene Scarpulla
Native Bees of Maryland
May 9
Joan Cwi
The Ordinary, Extraordinary Chimney Swift
June 13
Members Night: Favorite Photos

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 at 7:30 pm
College Park Aviation Museum    
 

"The Azores and Madeira Islands: Endemics and Island Beauty"

presented by Phil Davis

Phil Davis has long been fascinated by the Azores and Madeira Islands role as stepping stones for vagrant European and African rarities to appear in North America and, more recently, in the status of these islands' many endemic bird species and subspecies.  In 2014, Phil and Barbara travelled to the Azores and Madeira to observe these islands' birds and take in the island landscapes and culture. In 2016, they returned to the islands to lead a group of birders on a grand tour of seven islands where they targeted 12 endemic bird species and 24 endemic subspecies. A key objective was to observe the endemic subspecies and put them "into the bank" since genetic analyses continue to dominate avian taxonomy and endemic island subspecies have high potential as future splits.  This multimedia presentation focuses on the endemic species (including the rare Azores Bullfinch and Zino's Petrel), endemic subspecies (including the three endemic Azores Goldcrest subspecies), and the overall beauty and culture of these infrequently-visited islands.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017 at 7:30 pm                                                          
College Park Aviation Museum 

"Gearing Up: Tools & Tech"

presented by Ken Cohen

Hear about the latest birding apps for your smart-phone such as field guides, bird songs, e-bird notifications, and much more in live demonstration. If you find high-tech a little intimidating, bring along a 9-year old kinsman for assistance. Ken will be discussing e-Bird, Google, Birds Eye, I-bird Pro, and Audubon Birds. He is researching voice recognition programs and may also include them in the talk. He will also mention GPS coordinate programs such as Share my GPS location.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at 7:30 pm
College Park Aviation Museum

"Brazil: Rio, Iguazu  and the Pantanal "

presented by Gregory Kearns


Greg, long-time naturalist, rail and osprey bander/researcher and photographer at Patuxent River Park for the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, spent time in Brazil on an exchange program invitation through Partners of the Americas to consult on  parks and environmental issues. Greg will share these experiences through his always fascinating stories and pictures as he explores Rio de Janeiro, Iguazu Falls (one of the largest waterfalls in the world), and the Pantanal. The Pantanal is a wetland the size of  England and one of the greatest places on earth to view wildlife. The word ‘Pantanal’ originated from Portuguese word ‘pantano’ meaning marshland. The Pantanal is 190,000 sq km in area and its major portion is located in Brazil (in Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul Provinces) and a minor portion in  Bolivia and Paraguay. During rainy seasons, 80% of its area gets submerged underwater forming a miniature inland sea.


Learn about the natural history of the region and see photographs of creatures such as endangered golden lion tamarins, coatimundis, capybaras, marsh deer, caiman, and a great diversity of birds, including the Hyacinth Macaw, Red-legged Seriema, Black-collared Hawk, Guira Cuckoo, and Jabiru, to name a few. For those who are interested in watching wildlife in natural settings, no place offers more. It is believed that about 10 million crocodiles live here comfortably. The biodiversity of this area is astonishing: 3500 species of plants, 650 species of birds, 400 species of fish, 100 species of mammals, 80 species of reptiles are just some of the inhabitants of this wonderful land.



Tuesday, April 11, 2017 at 7:30 pm
College Park Aviation Museum

"Native Bees of Maryland"

presented by Gene Scarpulla

Gene Scarpulla is an Associate at the Bee Inventory and Monitoring Laboratory at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center where he surveys and identifies native bees and wasps.  Gene is also the Journal Editor for Maryland Birdlife and The Maryland Entomologist.
 
Did you know that there are approximately 4000 species of bees in the United States, 800 species east of the Mississippi River, and over 400 species in Maryland?  Little is known about the populations of most of these species.  In 2009, Gene Scarpulla conducted a yearlong survey of the bees on Hart-Miller Island in the Chesapeake Bay to increase our knowledge of Maryland's bees.  Gene will give a brief overview of the history of Hart-Miller Island, describe his yearlong survey, discuss general bee biology and identification (bees vs. wasps vs. flies [mimics]), and show the amazing diversity of Maryland’s bees.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at 7:30 pm
College Park Aviation Museum

"The Ordinary, Extraordinary Chimney Swift "

presented by Joan Cwi

Although the hummingbird is the closest taxonomic relative to the swift, swifts certainly did not inherit the hummingbird’s “pretty” genes.  But these plain, little birds are extraordinary in so many ways. The Chimney Swift is the only swift that migrates to the Eastern U.S., so we will discuss this particular species in regard to anatomy, speed, dexterity, nesting, and migration based on sixteen years of research and observation.  The Baltimore Bird Club’s (BBC) migration swift watches have counted as many as 7,000 Chimney Swifts entering a roosting chimney in less than an hour!

The first decade and a half of Joan’s adult life was devoted to studying and subsequently teaching medieval art history at the collegiate level. Naturally, she then spent the next three decades as a survey methodologist for health-related studies.  In the decade since retirement, she has dedicated herself to birding, travelling extensively throughout North and South America for this purpose. She has been an active BBC member during this time, including a six-year tenure as President. For the past sixteen years, she and two other birding colleagues have sponsored spring and fall swift migration watches for BBC. 



Questions or comments?  Contact the PGAS Webmaster at:  info@pgaudubon.org

last updated 1/16/2017