New York State
Ornithological Association

For the birders and birds of the Empire State

New York State Ornithological Association
Board Meeting Minutes - February 7, 2009
Nuthatch Hollow in Vestal

The Board of Directors of the New York State Ornithological Association, Inc. (NYSOA) met at Nuthatch Hollow in Vestal on February 7, 2009.  The meeting was called to order by President Bill Ostrander at 10:00 a.m.

Present were Bob Adamo, Tim Baird, Joan Collins, Jane Graves, Gail Kirch, Victor Lamoureux, Berna Lincoln, Stan Lincoln, Bob Mauceli, Bill Ostrander, Bill Reeves, and Kathy Schneider.  Phyllis Jones, John Ozard, Andy Mason, and Carena Pooth attended via teleconference.



  • Approved November 2008 Board Meeting minutes. (Item 1)
  • Approved the 2009 NYSOA Budget. (Item 4 under Finance Committee)


1.  Minutes – Kathy Schneider made a motion to accept the November 2008 meeting minutes with changes.  Jane Graves seconded the motion, and it was unanimously approved.

2.  President’s Report – Bill Ostrander reviewed the NYSOA Committee lists.  Manny Levine’s name should be taken off the Publications and Key Contacts lists.  Carena Pooth should be added to the Publications Committee, with Tim Baird as Chair.  John Confer and Joan Collins should be added to the Conservation Committee.

3.  Treasurer’s Report – Bill Reeves gave the Treasurer’s Report.  With regard to the motion passed during the November 1, 2008 board meeting: he closed the Atlas Fund and moved the balance to the General Memorial Fund; and he closed the Member Clubs Awards Fund and moved the balance to the General Operating Fund.  Bill also gave financial details for the NYS Young Birders’ Club.  He also noted that 6 Kingbird issues went out last year when 7 were budgeted.

4.  Committee Reports

Membership – Bob Mauceli gave a PowerPoint presentation titled, “NYSOA Membership Building”.  (The Membership Committee participated in a Teleworkshop on February 21, 2008 and the presentation was their report to the board.)  Memberships have declined, and there are no new clubs joining NYSOA.  The committee believes the problem is a communication problem.  They would like to develop membership campaign objectives and target audiences.  Many discussions ensued including offering electronic options for publications (with the advantage of color), offering online subscriptions and renewals, and identifying potential groups to target for new membership.  The committee has asked that board members send suggestions for increasing membership.  They would also like to see a position created – “Director of Club Relations” to enhance regular communication with member clubs.  Berna Lincoln reported that there are 552 individual NYSOA members, 44 clubs, and 50 life members.

New York State Young Birders Club (NYSYBC) – Carena Pooth gave the report on the NYSYBC.  They currently have $969.  Memberships include:  12 young birders, 13 adults, and 10 clubs.  Carena reviewed which NYSOA member clubs have had presentations to introduce the NYSYBC.  Seven young birders and 7 parents recently held a 4-hour meeting in Stoney kill, and a 2-hour field trip during the Waterfowl Count.  Carena listed the NYSYBC officers.  The students are putting up flyers and writing articles for club members’ newsletters.  Publicity for the new group will run in several magazines including The Conservationist and Wild Bird Magazine.  They hope to hold one field trip a month in partnership with a member club.  Carena also provided a written report of NYSYBC website updates.

Publications – Tim Baird reported that the January New York Birders newsletter issue is out.  Shai Mitra gave an update on the Kingbird.  Berna reported that issue 58-3 may be at the printers and three weeks away from coming out.  She said that publication of the Kingbird is 6 months behind, which confuses membership tasks and causes headaches.  Bill Ostrander will ask Shai for a schedule.

Web site and eBird – Carena Pooth provided a written report of NYSOA website updates.  It is hard to go between NY eBird and the home page of eBird, and it is a problem to try and get data out of NY eBird in a form that can be used.  A suggestion was made to have Bob Spahn and a person from eBird attend our next board meeting to discuss the problems.

Atlas 2000 – John Ozard reported that the NYS Museum is so happy with the Atlas exhibit, that they have extended it to August 16th!  After that date, the exhibit will begin to travel to other locations in the NY, with the Roger Tory Peterson Institute next in line.  The Museum plans to scale the exhibit so it will be portable for travel.  Cornell is pleased with sale of The Second Atlas of Breeding Birds in New York State:  900 pre-orders, and 1700 books sold by January!  John also reported that the DEC will pay the Museum for part of the exhibit.  Some of the original art is owned by the artists, and some artifacts came from the Museum.

Conservation – Andy Mason reported that there are no new issues since the last meeting.  He is working on a second draft of the NYSOA Conservation Policy.  Andy gave an update on the mining issue occurring at the edge of the Iroquois National Refuge raised by Brenda Best at the last board meeting.  There will be a draft Environmental Impact Statement on this project out in the spring.

Bylaws – Berna Lincoln reported no new updates.

Awards – Andy Mason reported no new updates.

NYSARC – Bill Ostrander reported no new updates.

Archives – Phyllis Jones reported that she updated indexing for the Kingbird, New York Birders, and the minutes.  Beginning in September, Phyllis will be wintering in Florida.  She will be stepping down as Archives Committee Chair and needs a replacement.  The person should be detail oriented (such as a Librarian), and send information to Cornell every 3 years.

Nominating – Kathy Schneider reported no new updates.

Finance Committee – Berna Lincoln presented the 2009 General Operating Fund Budget.  Kathy Schneider made a motion to accept the budget, and Bob Adamo seconded the motion.  We discussed the increasing cost of the The Kingbird, possibly due to the color covers that were not mass produced like the old covers.  Bill Reeves and Shai Mitra will investigate the reasons for increased costs.  The budget shows income of $18,905 and expenses of $33,750.  The membership dues amount of $22 needs to be increased, but the group was reluctant to pursue an increase during the recession.  A vote on the motion was taken, and it was unanimously passed.


5.  DEC Report – John Ozard reported that Kim Corwin is in her last week with the DEC.  They hope that she will be able to work on a new project to revise the Endangered Species List for birds and mammals (with Federal funding).

John reported that seasonal work is up in the air due to funding.  DEC is still short of biologists from attrition and an inability to hire.  Fortunately, much of the bird work is federally funded, including the Marsh Bird Monitoring pilot project in the Hudson Valley.

There are ~50 BCAs in the state, and the DEC lacks staff to work on them, and funding is a question mark.


Old Business:
Annual Meeting – The board discussed when to hold the day-long event, and decided that late September or early October would work.  Birding, lunch, and the delegate meeting were discussed and an estimate of 50 delegates was used to plan for the event.  Montezuma and Owego were given as potential options.  Gail Kirch will research Owego, and Jane Graves will research Montezuma.


New Business:
The next board meeting will be held on April 4, 2009.


Kathy Schneider made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 3:14 p.m.  Jane Graves seconded the motion and it was unanimously approved.


Respectfully submitted,

Joan Collins
Recording Secretary

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