WBNC Westmoreland Bird & Nature Club, southwestern Pennsylvania
Westmoreland Bird & Nature Club

Birding and nature observation
in Westmoreland County
southwestern Pennsylvania

About the club || Meetings || Field Trips & Outings || Newsletters & other Docs
Links || Join || Application Form || Sitemap


Westmoreland Bird & Nature Club

The Westmoreland Bird and Nature Club is a natural history organization serving Westmoreland County and surrounding areas. The WBNC is primarily an outdoor club averaging about 30 field trips a year for birds, butterflies, flowering plants, dragonflies and damselflies, trees and general ecology. Outings can be hiking, canoeing or cycling in nature. Sometimes impromptu field trips are organized over the internet. In addition, members participate in the Audubon Christmas Bird Count and the Pennsylvania Annual Migration Count in early May. Field trips are sometimes held in conjunction with the Botanical Society of Westmoreland County (BSWC), and the Three Rivers Birding Club (3RBC). Several members also belong to the Western Pennsylvania Mushroom Club. There are three general membership meetings a year including a summer picnic. All meetings are held in the Barn at the Donohoe Center, 218 Donohoe Road, Greensburg. The 10-18 page newsletter entitled The Syrinx is published four times a year summarizing past field trips, upcoming events, natural history information, and recent bird sightings. The Westmoreland Bird & Nature Club (formerly Westmoreland County Bird Club) formed on Feb 26, 1981 to promote interest in birds and conservation and to provide field trips in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. The first newsletter, Vol. 1 No. 1, was for March 1981. In that newsletter five field trips were scheduled. Seven people were listed as paid charter members.

Club Membership: $7 individual/family. Paid memberships currently stand at 217. All Membership Dues are due in January, unless you joined after September 1st. See Join for details.

facebook group: Westmoreland Bird and Nature Club Find us on a facebook group the fb open group is interactive (unlike this static site), contains recent photographs, wildlife sightings, etc.

red trillium

Current officers of the club

Executive Committee - Dick Byers, Tom Pearson, Tom & Billie Moser, Dale Matusa, Tim Vechter, Joe & Arlene Kalinowski
Treasurer - Georgia Shalek
Secretary - Billie Ann Moser
Newsletter Editor - Dick Byers
Bird Records - Tom Kuehl
Archives Scrapbook - vacant
Website and facebook - Tim Vechter

History of club officers

Great Blue Heronry, 2014     Great Blue Heronry, 2014
Great Blue Heron colony, April 1 2014. Photos by Tim Vechter.

Great Blue Heronry     Great Blue Heronry, 2014

Great Blue Heronry
Great Blue Heron, April 1 2014.

Black-crowned Night-Heron, 2014     Black-crowned Night-Heron, 2014
Black-crowned Night-Heron at Loyalhanna Creek downtown Latrobe, by the Rt981 (Lloyd Ave) bridge, March 27 2014.
"In Pennsylvania, the black-crowned night-heron is listed as state endangered and protected under the Game and Wildlife Code." Photos by Tim Vechter, 2014.

Gray Screech Owl, 2013     Red`Screech Owl, 2013
Screech Owls, gray and red phase, photos by Dick Byers, 2013.

Fox Sparrow, 2013
Fox Sparrow, photo by Dick Byers, 2013.

Harlequin Duck - Keystone State Park, Nov. 19 2008
Harlequin Duck at Keystone State Park, Nov. 19 2008.
Reported by Linda Huber & Ken Byerly.
Photo by Dick Byers.

Pine Siskin - Latrobe PA - 21.Jan.2009
Pine Siskin in Latrobe PA, Jan. 21 2009.

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Sandhill Crane

Lake Ethel in Derry, PA
Mid December 2007 to last week of April 2008.

Sandhill Crane Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane Sandhill Crane Sandhill Crane

More Sandhill Crane info is at wikipedia || Middle Creek || Platte River Nebraska || Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge || International Crane Foundation

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Upland Sandpiper Upland Sandpiper
Hutter's Farm
Mammoth-Kecksburg PA
May 25 1996
Sedge Wren
3rd Bridge
Loyalhanna Creek
Latrobe PA
June 7 1997
Sedge Wren

Both species are listed as threatened in Pennsylvania by the PA Department of Natural Resources. A threatened species may become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout their range in PA. An endangered species is in danger of extirpation throughout their range in PA.
Endangered & Threatened Species of Pennsylvania: PA Game Commission (Animals, Birds) || DCNR (Plants) || Fish & Boat Commission (Fishes, Turtles, Snakes, Lizards)

Atlas of Breeding Birds in Pennsylvania


Club Meeting

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Donohoe Center Barn
7 P.M. Doors open 6:30 P.M.

Speaker: New Kensington nature photographer and naturalist Steve Gosser will present a digital slide show mix of his natural history compositions. If you have seen his pictures on Facebook you know he is a master of digital photography. His work embraces every aspect of natural history from the flora and fauna to landscapes and the starlit night skies. I am always impressed with his bird pictures, not just with the perfect exposures, but with the fact the birds always pose for him in the open at just the right angle in good lighting. Anyone who has tried to photograph birds will instantly know these pictures are planned, composed and accomplished with incredible patience. Join us for an entertaining evening of well illustrated natural history.

Club Meeting

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Donohoe Center Barn
7 P.M. Doors open 6:30 P.M.

Our annual "Show and tell" evening with club members revealing their summer exploits. Also our fund-raising raffle of donated materials. Let Tom Moser know if you are bringing slides to show.

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Click for Latrobe, Pennsylvania Forecast

Field Trips for January through March 2019

Cancellation Policy:In the event of inclement weather, please call the field trip leader in advance to confirm if the outing is on or canceled. The leaders have the right to cancel. Please check weather reports and road conditions. If there's any question, please call the leaders for confirmation. Car pooling is a good idea. Field trips are free and open to the public.

Weather for Latrobe (weather.com) || Weather for Westmoreland County || Weather(underground) for PA

Sun. Dec. 30 Bushy Run Xmas Count
Meet at the Delmont McDonald's on Route 22 .5 mile west of the 22/66 cloverleaf at 7:30 a.m. Contact Dick before the meeting for assignment arrangements at otusasio@lhtot.com or 724-593-3543.

Jan. 3-4 CBC Count Dinner
On hold Carbone's announced they were closing, so the count dinner will have to arranged elsewhere and it's too early for most restaurants to schedule. We'll announce by email.

Thur. Jan. 3 Christmas Bird Count Dinner
At the Wagon Wheel Restaurant on the north side of Route 22 east of the 22/66 cloverleaf at 6:00 PM. Any club member may attend to eat and listen to the club CBC field parties read their list of birds for the count species tally. Order from the menu or select the Thursday night specialty of stuffed pork chops. RSVP Dick Byers by Mon. Dec. 24 so he can inform the restaurant how many are coming and how many pork chops they need to order. (Count Day Dec. 30).

Fri. Jan. 18 Pittsburgh Aviary
Bob Mulvihill will be our tour guide. For a carpool, meet at the Old Giant Eagle where Old Wm Penn highway departs from Rt. 22 near the Parkway at 8:30 AM. Call Dale Matuza to say you are coming, so we know to wait. One person registering the entire group gives us a price break, a reason for going together.

Sat. Feb. 9 Armchair Bird Outing
At the home of Georgia Shalak – 8:00-3:00 with a walk around adjoining grounds. Wear boots, bring any snacks, drinks you want to share. Arrive and depart at your convenience. No rain date. Bad weather – still on for those who can make it. Directions: 1481 W. Pittsburgh St., Scottdale. 724-887-9210. Take the Scottdale Exit off 119S. Make a left off the exit ramp onto 819 S toward Scottdale. Take a right at the light onto w. Pittsburgh St. and follow it through the 2nd light for 2 miles to the bottom of a large hill where you’ll cross a small cement bridge. Turn left immediately after you cross the bridge between the guard rail and fire hydrant. If you come to Creek Road, you’ve gone 5 feet too far!

Feb. 15-18 Great Backyard Bird Count
Count the maximum # of each species at your feeder at any one time! Walk the neighborhood to add non-feeder species. Count on as many of the four days as you wish. Turn data into birdcount.org.

Sat. Feb. 23 Loyalhanna Gathering of Eagles + West Penn Trail
Meet at the Loyalhanna Dam parking lot at 9:00 AM. Leaderless walk. Email Dale Matuza (dmatuza@comcast.net) to say you’ll be there and to find out who else is coming.

Sat. Mar. 23 Duck Watch Start St. Vincent Lake 8:30 AM – Derry – Trout Run – Ruthie’s for lunch.
Directions: From the Arnold Palmer airport on Route 30 turn north onto Route 981. Go to the next stoplight and turn left. Continue on this road straight through the circle intersection on past the old Grist Mill on your right to the dirt road just beyond on your right that leads down into the parking lot between the first and second ponds.

Sun. Mar. 31 Little Sewickley Trail
For Snow Trillium, early migrants and other signs of spring. Meet at the trailhead at 1 PM. Directions: Take the PA Turnpike to Exit 67-Route 30/Irwin/Greensburg. Take the Route 30 East/Greensburg ramp. At the first stoplight on Route 30, turn right onto Arona Rd, go .5 miles and make another right onto unmarked Wendel Rd. Travel this road 3.7 miles to a T. Turn right at the T and continue 1 mile to Herminie to a 4-way stop (VFD on corner). Continue straight to the next stop sign and turn left. Proceed through 2 more stop signs, end at a T, and turn right. Continue past the Dairy Queen on your right and continue down a hill; we will meet just before the highway bridge. Park on the left side.

Note: for the email addresses replace "_AT_" with "@", and "_DOT_ with ".", without the quotes. This is done to help foil spamming programs.

Bookmark outings.htm on a mobile device for quick download of scheduled outings for a text only listing of outings.

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Samples of recent newsletter and Christmas Bird Count results:

The Syrinx, Voicebox of the Westmoreland Bird & Nature Club, Vol. 36 No. 4, Oct - Dec 2017
Syrinx Oct - Dec 2017-2.pdf

Big Sit - all time 2008 to 2010 yr.pdf. The sit takes place at the wetland head of the lake at Keystone State Park in Derry Twp. All sightings are recorded from morning till evening.
Big Sit - all time 2 10 yr.pdf

The Syrinx, Voicebox of the Westmoreland Bird & Nature Club, Vol. 34 No. 3, July - September 2015
SyrinxJulySep 2015 B.pdf

The Syrinx, Voicebox of the Westmoreland Bird & Nature Club, Vol. 34 No. 2, April - June 2015

The Syrinx, Voicebox of the Westmoreland Bird & Nature Club, Vol. 33 No. 1, Jan. –Mar. 2014

40th BUSHY RUN S.P. CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT 2013 (114th) [Can open in Wordpad]
BushyRun 2013 Syrinx.doc

Click for Syrinx Newsletter          Click for Syrinx Newsletter

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Links to other web sites about nature and birds seen locally. These links can become inactive at any time.

Links to external websites will open in separate windows

Photos by Mark McConaughy:

Pine Siskin, White-winged Crossbill at Bushy Run Battlefield, Westmoreland Co., Feb. 2009

WBNC outing to West Lebanon, Indiana County, Feb. 24 2008.

Common Redpolls at Bushy Run Battlefield Park

Sandhill Crane at Derry Lake, Dec. 31 2007.

Herring Gull Nest in Armstrong County, 29 May 2005.

Short-billed Dowitcher at Mammoth Wetlands and Mammoth Lake, Sat. May 14 2005.

Hays Bald Eagle Cam in Pittsburgh || University of Pittsburgh Falcon Cam || Pittsburgh Gulf Tower Falcon Cam || Osprey Cam southeast PA

Westmoreland Botanical Society

Western Pennsylvania Mushroom Club

Three Rivers Birding Club

Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh

Botanical Society of Western Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Birding News at ABA || Birding mailing lists at ABA

Archives of PABIRDS@LIST.AUDUBON.ORG, Bird discussion list for Pennsylvania, Login required. || To subscribe or unsubscribe to the PABIRDS discussion list

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pink lady's slipper

To join Westmoreland Bird & Nature Club

Please send check or money order, made out to Westmoreland Bird & Nature Club to:
Georgia Shalek
1481 W Pgh. St.
Scottdale PA 15683
$7 individual/family. $20 supporting membership.
Include your name and address for the mailing list. Phone number, Email address, etc., is optional.

All Membership Dues are due in January, unless you joined after September 1st.
You can print and use an online application form by Clicking here.

current club patch

previous club patch

WBNC Bumper Sticker

Bookmark outings.htm on a mobile device for quick download of scheduled outings. outings.htm is a text only bare bones web page.

facebook group: Westmoreland Bird and Nature ClubFind us on this facebook group for a more interactive online interface, recent sightings and photographs.

Web page, and photos (unless otherwise noted), by Tim Vechter.

For places to bird in Westmoreland County click here

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