New York State
Ornithological Association

For the birders and birds of the Empire State

New York State Ornithological Association
Board Meeting Minutes
February 4, 2006

The Board of Directors of the New York State Ornithological Association, Inc. met at Nuthatch Hollow Nature Preserve in Vestal, NY on February 4, 2006. The meeting was called to order at 9:35 a.m.

Present were Tim Baird, Brenda Best, Valerie Freer, Gail Kirch, Berna Lincoln, Andy Mason, Bob Mauceli, Bill Ostrander, Carena Pooth, Bill Reeves, and Bob Spahn.

Present were Tim Baird, Brenda Best, John Confer, Phyllis Jones, Gail Kirch, Berna Lincoln, Andy Mason, Bob Mauceli, John Ozard, Carena Pooth, Bill Reeves and Bob Spahn.

Summary of Action Items:

1. Approved minutes of previous board meeting. (Item 1)
2. Retroactively approved appointment of Tom Burke to NYSARC (Item 5j)

1. Minutes– Brenda Best

Bill Reeves made a motion to approve the draft minutes from the November 12, 2005 Board Meeting as written. Tim Baird seconded. Approved unanimously.

2. President’s Report – Andy Mason – Andy advises all committee chairs have been filled.

3. Treasurer’s Report – Bill Reeves – The Treasurer’s Report dated December 31, 2005 was handed out (Attachment A). Bill reports that the Hudson-Mohawk Bird Club had problems with the Marriott regarding attendance numbers at the Annual meeting. Apparently some registrations were designated “NYSOA” and some were “FNYSBC” and the Marriott would not accept “FNYSBC.” Therefore, HMBC is unable to repay the $1000 loan at this time. Bill Reeves will discuss this with Bill Lee to see if a letter from us to the Marriott would help or if HMBC could repay in installments. Also, such loans do not appear on our statements, but should show as receivables. Bill will seek advise on how to do this.

Bill reports that an investment account has been set up at Banc of America Investment Services, Inc. We have purchased $98,089 worth of agency bonds (4.58%) and these will mature on February 28, 2007.

Bill is checking to see if new signature cards are required.

4. DEC Report – John Ozard – John brought us up to date on various projects:

• Marsh Bird Project is entering its third field season.
• Grasslands project contracted to NY Audubon is almost complete.
• Grassland project with Cobleskill interns working with Audubon regarding important bird areas will begin.
• A one-year pilot study for NOAA Nexrad in two areas (Buffalo and Binghamton) has been contracted to NJ Audubon and will expand to 5 years if successful.
• The contract with Wildlife Conservation Society to study boreal birds is almost finalized, but we may have to wait until next year to hire people.
• Contract with Ithaca College for the Golden-winged Warbler study continues. Some necessary pre-treatment work was not done by the Parks Department.
• Bald Eagle survey in January was completed.
• Spruce Grouse study involving some telemetry work continues.
• Comprehensive management plan for Common Terns is in process and will include the Niagara River.
• Status quo for Double-crested Cormorants this year.
• Common Loon project continues; hoping to recover 4 dead satellie transmitters this summer.

5. Committee Reports

a. Archives – Phyllis Jones – Papers regarding the Stoner Award from its inception have been donated.

b. Atlas – Berna for Valerie Freer – Steering Committee meeting is next week. Final check of data is in progress. Writing of accounts is taking longer, so some have been assigned to others. Artwork is in very good shape; deadline for all drafts is March 31. Contract with Cornell University Press is in their hands. Projected final publication date has been extended 4 months to early 2008.

c. Awards – Andy for Bill Ostrander – Suggestions made to send Certificates of Appreciation to the caretakers of Nuthatch Hollow and the hosts of the Northern Hawk Owl in Lyndonville. Bill’s proposed letter to the clubs regarding the Stoner Award was reviewed and suggestions made. Bill should advise Brenda of names and addresses of the nominees so they receive their complimentary membership. Notice that nominees will be accepted from individual members should be placed in New York Birders. Let Bill know of any nominees for the Meade Award so that notification can be made before the Annual Meeting to ensure attendance.

d. Bylaws – Two more members are required for this committee. Bob Spahn volunteered. Andy will follow-up for second person.

e. Conservation – Gail Kirch – Two letters were written, one regarding boreal areas and the other, Shawangunk NWR. It was felt that a general letter regarding wind power could not be written because each case will have site-specific problems that need to be reviewed.

f. Field Trips – Tim Baird - No information regarding a new committee chair. Tim has a problem getting trips held by clubs into New York Birders due the dates.

g. Finance Committee – Berna Lincoln – No activity.

h. Membership – Brenda Best – We currently have 628 annual members and 54 life members. Dues notices have been issued for memberships expiring in January and April 2006, as well as to all member clubs.

i. Nominating Committee – Bob Mauceli – Slate has been prepared; work is complete.

j. NYSARC – Andy Mason for Angus Wilson – Gerard Phillips’ term ended in December 2005. Angus has suggested names, but no contact has been made. Next term ends December 2006 and we will be prepared with a name at that time. Much discussion of the proposed Guidelines changes ensued and is summarized as follows:
• It was felt that anyone should be able to make a nomination.
• Term limits may force new members when that may not be desirable.
• Reducing the term would allow removal of non-performing members sooner.
• Committing to a five-year term is difficult now that the workload is high due to number of submissions.
• Voluntary resignations should be handled similarly to what is currently required for a Director.
• Involuntary removal should be a similar process as removal of a Board member.

The Bylaws Committee will present written proposed Bylaws changes at the April Board meeting for approval so they may be voted on by the delegates at this year’s Annual Meeting.

Question was raised about how NYSARC deals with reports that are published elsewhere but not reported to them? Documents and photos would exist, so can NYSARC take this published report and use it as a report for their evaluation? A procedure needs to be spelled out and be part of the guidelines.

Discussion turned to the archiving of NYSARC papers. These should not be stored in someone’s home due to the risk of damage or loss. Copies could be made so we could store the originals. How does NYSARC feel about the importance of keeping these papers forever? John Confer was authorized to inquire with the State Museum in Albany about storing them there, and to ask about “ownership” of the papers, if we could require written requests for access, and if the Freedom of Information law would apply. Phyllis is checking with Cornell on their requirements.

When Tom Burke agreed to continue to serve on NYSARC at the end of 2003, no formal reappointment was made. To correct this, Andy retroactively appointed Tom Burke to serve on NYSARC for a term ending December 31, 2008. Motion to approve was made by Bob Spahn and seconded by Berna Lincoln. Approved unanimously.

k. Publications – Tim Baird and Andy for Shai Mitra – Shai advises he has had no time to find another layout person. Tim did not hear back regarding someone who wanted to place an ad in New York Birders. Tim needs the registration form for the Annual Meeting for the April issue.

l. Web site – Carena Pooth – An article about Return a Gift to Wildlife is up, as are the minutes from previous board meetings. Carena has purchased 5 out of the 6 domain names that were authorized ( was not available).

6. Old Business

Governance – Andy has recently written to the club presidents about this issue and would like more time for responses to come in.

eBird – Bob Spahn has worked with Brian Sullivan and has a list of species for each region. Regional Editors were to establish thresholds by month. Three have been completed, some are in process, one advises he doesn’t want to use it. We also want the ability to pull records by county. We could also link to the NYSARC report form. Carena needs a contact for the front page. We are also to advise Steve Kelling how we plan to promote eBird.

Annual Meeting – Delaware-Otsego Audubon is moving ahead with the 2006 meeting. Still no host for the 2007 meeting. Pending an official vote by their members, the Rochester Birding Association will host the 2008 Annual Meeting.

7. New Business

Speakers Bureau – Possible to put this online? Would we need the permission of the speakers? This is on hold for now.

Future Meetings – Dates are April 22, July 15, and November 18. Meetings to be held at Nuthatch Hollow in Vestal unless otherwise notified in advance.

Bill Reeves made a motion to adjourn, which was seconded by Gail Kirch. Approved unanimously. Meeting adjourned at 2:48 p.m.

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