New York State
Ornithological Association

For the birders and birds of the Empire State

New York State Ornithological Association
Board Meeting Minutes
April 22, 2006

The Board of Directors of the New York State Ornithological Association, Inc. met at SUNY New Paltz on April 22, 2006. The meeting was called to order at 9:40 a.m.

Present were Tim Baird, Brenda Best, John Confer, Valerie Freer, Phyllis Jones, Gail Kirch, Berna Lincoln, Andy Mason, Shai Mitra, Bill Ostrander, Carena Pooth, Bill Reeves and Angus Wilson.

Summary of Action Items:

1. Approved minutes of previous board meeting. (Item 1)
2. Approved revising Article XI of our By-laws pertaining to NYSARC (Item 4)
3. Approved revising By-laws for club membership range at the single-delegate level (Item 6-d)

1. Minutes– Brenda Best

Bill Reeves made a motion to approve the draft minutes from the February Board Meeting with changes. Tim Baird seconded. Approved unanimously.

2. President’s Report – Andy Mason

Andy attended a Bird Conservation Area meeting in March.

3. Treasurer’s Report – Bill Reeves

Treasurer’s Report dated March 31, 2006 was distributed (Attachment A). Assets increased because of receipt of dues payments and there was no Kingbird expense for the quarter.

The loan to Hudson-Mohawk Bird Club has not yet been repaid. Fifty-five room reservations were needed but not obtained due to people using “Federation” instead of “NYSOA” or not mentioning any affiliation. HMBC has a surplus of $1189.36 before repayment of the loans and proposes paying NYSOA $689.36 and $500 to the club. It was believed that previous loan proceeds in excess of the loan amount were donated to NYSOA. Berna will investigate. HMBC will send an income/expense report for the Annual Meeting to Bill Reeves. We need to have all the facts before deciding whether to accept HMBC’s proposal.

Bill will send signature cards to those who need to sign them.


With Angus Wilson in attendance, the proposed changes to “Article XI: New York State Avian Records Committee” were presented by the By-laws Committee and proposed NYSARC Guidelines were discussed. NYSARC operations in general were also discussed.

By-laws Changes -

A. Nominations – We will keep the original wording. The President and Board should not be limited to only considering names from NYSARC. We will add wording to stipulate appointment of a NYSARC member after consultation with NYSARC. “…with advice from the committee” was agreed upon (see Item A of Attachment B).

B. Terms and Term Limits – Due to a learning curve, limited number of candidates, and “burn out,” it was agreed to change the term to 3 years but to not institute term limits.

C. Resignations and Involuntary Removal – Acceptable as intended, but will be reworded (see Item B of Attachment B).

Motion was made by Phyllis Jones to accept the proposed revised by-laws as written with changes to present to the Council of Delegates at the 2006 Annual Meeting. Seconded by Bill Reeves. Approved unanimously. Berna Lincoln will finalize the proposed by-laws changes.

NYSARC Guidelines will be reviewed and revised. The Guidelines Introduction is to include the NYSOA by-laws requirements word-for-word. The requirement that members not vote on their own reports will be revised. Guidelines will be presented at the July Board meeting for approval. Finalized guidelines will be published and also placed on our web site.

Archiving of NYSARC Materials – Newer reports are public, but older ones are not. Reviews that were previously anonymous should not be opened up. Storage of these items is a concern. If we archive at Cornell, they would be owned by Cornell and open to the public. Commercial archivists or the New York State Museum are possibilities. Photographs especially need to be protected in a humidity and temperature controlled environment. Andy, Angus, and Jeanne Skelly will discuss the cost of copying all original NYSARC materials (submissions, reviews, and correspondence), the possibility of digitizing these items, and providing water/fire resistant containers for Jeanne.

Sightings Not Submitted to NYSARC – NYSARC is addressing this, and it may be included in the guidelines.

Workload – Angus will discuss this with the committee members and advise us if there is anything we can do.

Insurance – Liability insurance for NYSARC members was discussed. If rejection of a record ruins credibility/reputation of someone such as a business owner, could NYSARC be sued? Personal insurance (umbrella policy) is recommended.

New Committee Member – A couple of names have been discussed but these people have not been approached. Angus will advise when further action can be taken.

5. Publications

The December 2005 issue of The Kingbird is at the printer after resolution of technical issues with layout and the printer. Shai hopes to move forward with color photos in The Kingbird to broaden the appeal. It appears a center insert is acceptable and easier for the printer. We need to know how much this expense would be and how we would pay for it. Shai will also investigate alternate printers which may also include New York Birders as well as mailing. Now that the peer-review process on scientific articles is in place, it is hoped the publication timeline will catch up.

The hawk silhouettes in New York Birders were from Tim’s actual photos.

6. Other Committee Reports

a. Archives – Phyllis Jones – Ongoing.

b. Atlas – Valerie Freer – Flyer by Jane Graves was presented. Book will contain color throughout. June deadline for species accounts. Manuscript must be done by March 2007 with one year to publish. 50 pieces of original artwork, matted and framed, showing aspects of the Atlas will be exhibited at New York State Museum for 6 months.

c. Awards – Bill Ostrander – Some confusion over Certificates of Appreciation exists so these will be reviewed by Andy and Bill. Correct spelling of names and addresses will be obtained. Bill will contact Charlie Rouse for Eaton Award information. Bill’s letter regarding the Stoner award will be revised and mailed.

d. By-laws – Berna Lincoln – A letter regarding the by-laws changes is to be mailed to the clubs by May 29. Berna and Andy will work on the letter.

The Committee is recommending another change to our By-laws. The level of club dues-paying membership that receives one eligible delegate should be changed from “1-100” to “0-100” or “under 100” or “less than 100.” Motion made by Berna and seconded by Gail Kirch was approved unanimously.

e. Conservation – Gail Kirch – Gail shared the response to her letter regarding Wakely Mt. Fire Tower and Sawyer Mt. view. Wind tower siting was again discussed. Parks Department cut down trees in Sterling Forest for Golden-winged Warbler habitat, and some hikers were concerned about this. Ring-billed Gulls in Niagara are under management by removing nests, and Parks Dept. wants to expand management. People from Buffalo Ornithological Association attended a meeting but we have had no feedback. Andy will draft a letter to them to inquire about this issue. John Fritz requested a letter be written to the supervisor of the Town of Babylon regarding Fire Island development. John Confer offered to write the letter and circulate it to us via email. Residents of Ossining also emailed via our web site regarding nesting Bald Eagles.

f. Field Trips – Tim Baird - No change.

g. Finance – Berna Lincoln – No activity.

h. Membership – Brenda Best – We currently have 629 annual members and 54 life members. 117 memberships with January or April expiration dates have not yet renewed. To the question of club membership, 384 responses have been received with 167 of these having no answer and 7 with a specific “None.”

i. Nominating – Bob Mauceli – All set.

j. Web site – Carena Pooth – Email addresses were changed to prevent spam.

Old Business

Governance – Andy gave a report of responses from clubs.

eBird – Bob Spahn reports work is progressing. 6 of 10 filters are done. Region 9 needs help. Carena received a form to fill out for NY eBird. Hope to launch in May. Andy will check with Kevin to see if a contract was signed. If so, we need a copy.

Annual Meeting – Registration form for the 2006 meeting is in New York Birders. Still no host for 2007. Andy will inquire with Long Island hosts. We may need to make a contingency plan for a one-day meeting.

Next meeting will be July 15 at Nuthatch Hollow. The November meeting is tentatively scheduled for the 18th with location to be determined.

New Business


Bill Reeves made a motion to adjourn, which was seconded by Tim Baird. Approved unanimously. Meeting adjourned at 3:35 p.m.

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