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 group is interactive and contains many recent photographs.

red trillium

Current officers of the club

Executive Committee - Dick Byers, Tom Pearson, Tom & Billie Moser, Dale Matusa, Joe & Arlene Kalinowski, Rose Tillman, Len & Linda Hess
Secretary/Treasurer - Rose Tillmann
Newsletter Editor - Dick Byers
Bird Records - Karen Jackson
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, November 15, 2016

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

A short business meeting will be followed by a movie provided by Georgia Shalek: BIRDERS: The Central Park Effect. This is an hour long film on birding in New York City's famous Central Park. Besides amazing close-ups of many of the 275 species that have been catalogued there, you also get a nice tour of the park in all four seasons and interviews with birders that define who we are. We're sure you'll like it. You'll also see the famous red-tailed hawk that made the national news a few years back, and interviews with Starr Saphir, the "matriarch" of Central Park birding who makes her living leading birdwalks.

New York City sits right on the migratory route along the coast and is a green oasis mid a long stretch of dense urban habitat. You'll be surprised at what drops into the park in migration and what stays to breed in this artificial manmade park of streams, ponds, waterfalls, coniferous and deciduous woods, meadows, fields and wetlands.

In the time remaining we can still have a quick raffle of old bird books and nature paraphernalia donated by members.
Come early to look over the 35-year club anniversary memorabilia that was missed at the picnic due to the horrendous thunderstorm we sat through or if you missed the last meeting.

The Editor

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Click for Latrobe, Pennsylvania Forecast

Field Trips for October to December 2016

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

Sat. Oct 2 Five Star Trail
This is a Botanical Society of Westmoreland County (BSWC) outing. From the Route 30/119 intersection, go south on 119 about 1/2 mile to the Huff Ave. Intersection, just past Hoss's Restaurant, and turn left at the light. Trail parking is on the left near the railroad tracks where we'll meet at 2:00 PM.

Sat. Oct. 8 Todd Sanctuary
Meet Dick Byers at 10 AM in the Sanctuary parking lot for a hike around the reserve in conjunction with the Westmoreland Conservancy. Directions: Take Route 66/356 North. Stay on 356 across the Allegheny River and Route 28. About 3/4 mile after you cross Route 28, turn right onto Monroe Road. Follow Monroe Road about 3 miles to a fork in the road at the top of a steep hill and bear right onto Kepple Road. The Buffalo Golf Course will be on your right. Continue on Kepple Road about 1.7 miles and look for a small sharp turn to the right on a dirt road into the Todd parking lot. There is a yellow gate about 15 yards in from Kepple. I plan to be there to wave you in. The Sanctuary sign is down. DB

Sun. Oct. 9
The Big Sit Join us at Keystone S.P. on the left side of the marsh end for a day of birding from a sitting position where we let the birds come to us. It gets tougher every year to break the record. This 9th year we need 49 species. Come anytime and stay as long as you want. Bring donuts, cookies, fruit, nuts, to share. Bring a folding chair if you plan on staying awhile to help us identify and count. Ask Dick (otusasio@lhtot.com) for a time slot in advance so we can have coverage sunrise to sunset. (not required).

Sat. Oct. 22 Roundhill Park
For late warblers and fall foliage with Jim Pemberton. Round Hill is a "model farm" that, at first glance, seems overly manicured, but as it's popular with equestrians, there are wide trails into woodlands and they have left snags, poison ivy, and wild grape alone, making it an attractive place to bird for late passerines that rely on berries. It's also one of the highest elevations in Allegheny County, which may be another reason it's good for migrants and has a nice variety of maple, gum, and cherry trees for autumn color. Location is about 5 miles NW of West Newton (as the crow flies) via Route 136. Directions: GPS address - 651 Round Hill Road, Elizabeth PA 15037. Road - from Route 136, take 51 North to 48 North. Follow 48 North to first intersection, and turn right on Round Hill Road. Entrance to the park is right past a cemetery. Turn left into the park and meet at the first parking area by the duck pond. 8:30 AM.

Sat. Oct. 29 Waterfowl Tour
Meet Denny Smeltzer at the St. Vincent gristmill at 8:30 AM to bird the wetlands for waterfowl and late migrant land birds, then on to Derry Lake and Latrobe Reservoir in that order. Directions: From the Arnold Palmer airport on Route 30 turn north onto Route 981. Go to the next stoplight and turn left onto Monastery Drive. Continue on this road straight through the circle intersection onto the Grist Mill on your right.

Tue. Nov. 15 Club Meeting
Bring old nature items and watch a movie. Details above.

November Waterfowl and Allegheny Front Hawkwatch
Since these outings are more dependent on frontal weather conditions and storms, we're going to do them via impromptu email announcements. Expect a hawk watch announcement a day or two after a frontal passage from the north. For waterfowl, a clear evening at dusk followed by an early predawn storm will give us a potential fallout. Watch the weather.

Wed. Dec. 28 Bushy Run S.P. Christmas Bird Count
Meet at the Delmont McDonald's at 7:30 AM for last minute assignments. Email otusasio_AT_lhtot_DOT_com or call Dick 724_593_3543 if you're coming so he can make arrangements in advance and get you all going by 8.

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. 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:
Rose Tillmann
PO Box 188
New Derry PA 15671
$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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