NYSBS Annual Meeting – October 16, 2021 “ZOOM”

By Martha Moran, NYSBS Newsletter Editor & Sarah Hodder, NYSBS President

The NYSBS Annual meeting was conducted remotely via Zoom this year. Since many of us hadn’t seen each other for nearly two years, it was fun to be together again, albeit on video.

The meeting was well attended and conducted by NYSBS President, Sarah Hodder, who opened the event with a welcome and brief remarks remembering the late Murial Prianti and Niles Brown. Murial was our Treasurer and Membership Chair and Niles Brown served as a board member and bluebird expert. Other society business included the election of officers, conducted by Mark Couchman. Jim Engelbrecht, serving in an interim capacity, presented the Treasurer and Membership reports. As part of our Annual Meeting, two awards were presented. The Fran Hanes Award, given in recognition of an individual’s work in bluebird conservation, was given to Martha Moran. The Herman Bressler Award, given annually to a person demonstrating extraordinary service in support of NYSBS, went to Peggy Lauber. More information about Martha Moran and Peggy Lauber can be found in our newsletter, “Bluebird News”. Check out their pictures on the Award’s page of the website. Closing out the business meeting, Deb Wines discussed the nest box survey results and overall trends as reported by our members. A detailed nest box survey report will be included in the Spring newsletter.

Jim Engelbrecht introduced our first featured speaker, NABS president Bernie Daniels, who gave a fascinating presentation about the status of the Eastern Bluebird titled, “Current Status of the Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis): Trends in Population and Distribution.” Bernie explained the data using plain language and supporting charts. While habitat loss, invasive species and manmade perils are still important, Bernie’s data clearly showed the increasing impacts of climate change on populations of bluebirds as well as other native cavity nesters and songbirds.

Our next speaker was Dr. Heather Williams of SUNY Buffalo who presented an excellent program titled, “Parasites, Incubation, Provisioning and Migration: Purple Martin Body Condition from Egg to Fledge.” Dr. Williams’ presentation included many pictures of her research subject, the methods used and the dedicated students who supported the project. It highlighted the challenges to survival of Purple Martin young and concluded that while parasites have some impacts on survival, it’s not as significant as initially thought.

Both presentations elicited many questions, all of which were expertly answered by Bernie and Dr. Williams.

Sarah gave the closing comments and we all agreed that although Zoom is a wonderful format, we look forward to meeting again in person.

Photos from past Fall meetings