Bird Club thanks its charter members

Twenty-nine members of the Lake Erie Bird Club attended their recent meeting celebrating the 50th anniversary of the club. For fifty years the club has provided information on the identification and enjoyment of birds. Appreciation was expressed for the charter members whose love of birds inspired the formation of the club in 1963. Charter members Dr. Allen and Marjorie Benton attended the meeting conducted by John Ruska.

Members shared recent bird sightings at the Dunkirk Harbor which included many American coots, a variety of ducks such as hooded mergansers, bufflehead, lesser and greater scaup, redheads and canvasbacks. Also sightings of bald eagles and hundreds of gulls have been observed at the harbor. Other birds at the harbor include great blue herons, black-crowned night herons and double-crested cormorants. Other birds reported from the area were red-tailed hawks, killdeer, northern shrike, American kestrels and common redpolls. Mary Shearman reported on a recent trip to Florida where she observed painted buntings.

Club members will participate in the annual spring Buffalo Ornithological Society bird count on April 14. They will cover the area in northern Chautauqua County. Joanne Goetz serves as compiler for the club.

John and Beverly Ruska presented the program for the evening on exploring the American desert, from Tucson to Death Valley. They showed many beautiful photos John had taken as they traveled through the deserts. Gary Dickinson, Betty Dickinson, Diane Andrasik and Goetz helped with refreshments and served the special anniversary cake.

A club field trip led by Terry Mosher was held in March. Areas covered included the Berry Road marsh, the Van Buren Road area and the Dunkirk Harbor. Forty-six species were observed.

Lake Erie Bird Club members recently traveled to the Roger Tory Peterson Institute to attend a program by the Ruskas on the Eastern bluebird. They gave much information on what is necessary for maintaining nest boxes for bluebirds. In addition, Beverly also discussed the drawings of Roger Tory Peterson presently on display at the Institute.

The next meeting of the club will be on Monday, April 15 at 7:30 p.m. at BOCES, Fredonia-Stockton Road, Fredonia. Terry Mosher will present a program on “Birds, Buds and Butterflies” that will be seen during the spring. All who are interested in birds are welcome to attend. For more information about the club call 673-1627.