New York State
Ornithological Association

For the birders and birds of the Empire State

New York State Ornithological Association
Board Meeting Minutes
November 18, 2006

The Board of Directors of the New York State Ornithological Association, Inc. met at Nuthatch Hollow in Vestal on November 18, 2006.  The meeting was called to order at 9:30 a.m.

Present were Tim Baird, Jane Graves, Phyllis Jones, Berna Lincoln, Andy Mason, Bob Mauceli, Kevin McGowan, Bill Ostrander, Carena Pooth, Bill Reeves and Kathy Schneider.  Matt Medler from NYSDEC was present as a guest speaker. 

Summary of Action Items:

  1. Approved minutes with changes of previous board meeting.  (Item 1)
  2. Initiated time-tracking for 2007 (Item 4a)
  3. Approved the 2007 budget  (Item 4e)
  4. Approved sponsorship of Whip-poor-will Monitoring Project (New Business)

1.  Minutes

In Brenda Best’s absence, Bob Mauceli was appointed acting secretary for this meeting.  Jane Graves moved that the minutes of the July 15, 2006 board meeting be accepted as presented; seconded by Carena Pooth.  Motion passed unanimously.

2.  President’s Report – Andy Mason

Andy Mason welcomed new board members and advised he had no specific President’s Report for this meeting.

3.  Treasurer’s Report – Bill Reeves

Bill Reeves advised that income was $4,000 lower year-to-date than budgeted due to a significant decline in individual memberships.  General operations spending is $2,800 under budget because there have been only two issues of The Kingbird published so far this year.  Publication of a third issue is planned for this year and will use up the surplus.  Three Lillian Stoner awards and the John J. Elliott award have been made, and one half of the balance of Atlas publication expenses has been committed.

4.  Committee Reports

    a.  Website – Carena Pooth – All changes to the website suggested at the Annual Meeting have been made.  Information has been added for traveling birders; Annual Meeting minutes with pictures have been posted; a listing of 2006 Christmas Bird Counts across the state has been added; the eBird page has been updated; and the Atlas report and links have been posted.  Carena reports that the NYSARC area of the site is the most active with 325 page hits since September 12, 2006 and that the overall website workload is increasing significantly with NYSARC activity, more use of photos, eBird interface, etc.  Discussion of the amount of time spent on NYSOA business by volunteers led to the decision that officers, committee chairs, and other key people would track their time starting January 1 and report monthly to the Finance Committee.

    b.  Archive – Phyllis Jones – Still collecting and indexing past records and documents.

    c.  Membership – Andy for Brenda Best – Membership numbers for the year as of November show a declining trend:




Individual members



Life members



Member Clubs



Given these numbers, NYSOA needs to find ways to promote individual membership.  A membership committee exists and needs to become active. 

    d.  NYSARC– Andy for Shai Mitra – NYSARC is moving ahead on developing an electronic archive of records, but funding for developing an electronic archive will be substantial.  A suggestion was to consider applying for a grant to fund the scanning, conversion and indexing.  Kathy will look into a Biodiversity Research Institute grant to see if we have projects that might qualify.

Shai Mitra’s term on NYSARC ends on 12/31/06.  Neither his continuation nor replacement has been finalized.  A question was raised as to whether Dominic Sherony’s membership also ends this year and Andy will double-check that.

There was continued discussion on guideline revisions.  Guidelines will start with a list of the relevant sections of the NYSOA By-laws and then approved guidelines.

NYSARC will be asked to accelerate any pending new species to be added to the checklist.  Manny has volunteered to work on the new printed checklist and the board authorized him to go ahead.

    e.  Finance  – Berna Lincoln – Berna presented the proposed operating fund budget for 2007 showing a deficit of $2,020.  Income was subsequently amended due to having the correct number of life members, making the deficit $1,960.  The Kingbird is budgeted for four issues per year at $3,750 per issue, but five issues may be needed in 2007 to catch up, as there will be only three issues in 2006.  New York Birders is budgeted for four issues at $765 per issue.  Discussion of a possible dues increase resulted in no decision at this time.  Motion to approve the 2007 budget as amended was made by Bob Mauceli and seconded by Jane Graves.  Motion passed unanimously.

    f.  Atlas – Valerie Freer – Not much has changed since the Annual Meeting:

  • 203 species accounts edited out of 250 total; missing 30 species accounts
  • Most artwork underway or completed
  • Statistical analysis of blocks vs. species seen
  • Introductory chapters need work, but are coming together
  • Volume should go to the printer by the end of March 2007

    g.  Awards – Bill Ostrander – Nothing since Annual Meeting except Certificate of Appreciation will be sent to Len DeFrancisco for his work regarding wind power at Ripley Hawkwatch.

    h.  Conservation – Gail Kirch – Windpower ad hoc committee has been formed consisting of John Confer, Bill Reeves, Andy Mason, and Gerry Smith.  Others may be added.

5.  DEC – no report.


New York eBird – Bob Spahn is still the contact with Cornell Lab of Ornithology.  NYSOA Kingbird regional set-up is in the works and may be available in early 2007.  Site looks good.  Audubon New York still wants to use eBird for Important Bird Areas.  We should provide an article on New York eBird to member clubs for them to publish in their newsletters.

Muckrace – NYSOA has provided sponsorship for the same team (Real White-rumps) and will continue annual sponsorship.


Whip-poor-will Monitoring – Proposal was presented by Matt Medler, NYSDEC.  Whip-poor-will populations are declining.  Monitoring has been done in New Hampshire in 2004 and 2005, and that program was expanded to the entire Maine-to-Maryland region in 2006.  There has been some Whip-poor-will monitoring in New York State through volunteer efforts during 2006.  There have been recommendations the program be continued for a total of at least ten years.  Matt would serve as volunteer coordinator for New York State to provide long-term consistency.  Matt requested NYSOA sponsorship, which would involve:

  • Use of the NYSOA name
  • Publicity from newsletter, website
  • Access to clubs
  • Mailings to clubs
  • Funding for support at approximately $100 per year

NYSOA sponsorship should be placed under the research committee.  A motion made by Tim Baird and seconded by Carena Pooth directing that NYSOA should partner with the Northeast Partners in Flight Nightjar Working Group to conduct Whip-poor-will monitoring in New York State was passed unanimously.

Organizational Membership – A proposal to include organizations other than bird clubs as organizational members was discussed.  This would require changing the name of that class of membership from “club” to “organizational” and development of clearer ideas of how such organizations can join and whether or not they should have a vote.  On the website only, it should read “member clubs and other organizations.”  Jane will look at wording changes required and get them to Carena.

The Kingbird Online – Kevin suggested that NYSOA put back issues of The Kingbird online, perhaps using the same company we choose to do NYSARC records scanning and indexing.  We could develop a rolling schedule to put issues on the Internet so that member benefit of the content of the printed copy would not be diminished.  This might be a candidate for a grant request.

2007 Board Meeting Schedule – All at Nuthatch Hollow:
            March 3
            June 2
            August 4
            November 3

Future Annual Meetings:
            2007 – Batavia
            2008 – Rochester


Respectfully submitted by Bob Mauceli
Board-recommended amendments made by Brenda Best

 Return to the NYSOA Home Page

About Us  |  Banded/Marked_Birds  |  Breeding Bird Atlas  |  Breeding Bird Survey
Calendar  |  Checklists  |  Conservation  |  Field Trips  |  Member Clubs/Organizations
Membership  | NYSARC (Rare_Birds)  |  Publications  |  Rare Bird Alert
Reporting & Listing  |  Waterfowl Count  |  Web Links