About Us

A community of people who share their enthusiasm for birds.

Who We Are

If you love birding, birds or bird conservation then the Delaware Ornithological Society (DOS) is for you.

You’ll find a community of people interested in observing and enjoying birds, whether in a back yard or at one the many excellent birding sites in the area. You’ll also find people dedicated to helping conserve birds and the habitats they depend on.

Although DOS has many activities similar to a bird club, we like to think of ourselves as more than an bird club. In addition to field trips and monthly meetings, DOS is engaged on many fronts in bird conservation, citizen science and promoting youth birding.

DOS presents many opportunities to learn and grow, whether through the engaging speakers at our monthly meetings, by attending one of our many field trips with expert leaders, or by participating in one of the society’s many citizen-science projects.

Red-winged Blackbird

DOS Mission Statement

"The object and purpose of this Society shall be the promotion of the study of birds, the advancement and diffusion of ornithological knowledge, and the conservation of birds and their environment."

Current Bylaws

The current Bylaws of the Delaware Ornithological Society approved at the December 19, 2018 regular monthly meeting are available for download as a pdf by clicking here: Our Bylaws.

Statement of Diversity and Inclusion

The Delaware Ornithological Society is committed to attracting and engaging a diverse membership that encourages people of all ages, races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, physical abilities, religions,  political beliefs, and socio-economic backgrounds to embrace birding, nature, and conservation.

By prioritizing inclusivity and celebrating diversity as strength, DOS endeavors to promote a greater understanding of nature and of each other. Appreciating nature is very personal and DOS believes those who love birds will work to protect them and their habitats. Therefore it is imperative to the organization's mission that DOS strives to include every person and every community in our efforts to have a healthy natural world.

Putting these ideals in action must be deliberative -- inclusivity doesn’t happen by itself.  DOS commits to taking actions that will translate our words into positive change, including inviting, involving, and welcoming all people without discrimination into our organization.

History of DOS

The Delaware Ornithological Society (then known as the Delmarva Ornithological Society) started at a meeting of 80 charter members on 18 February 1963 at the Wilmington Institute Free Library.

At this meeting by-laws were adopted and officers selected and sworn in. The mission statement adopted at the convention was “The object and purpose of this Society shall be the promotion of the study of birds and the advancement and diffusion of ornithological knowledge”.

More recently, DOS has increasingly emphasized conservation.  In the mid-1990s the following was added to the mission statement – “and the conservation of birds and their environment”.

In 2013 DOS celebrated 50 years of birding, bird conservation, and community.  The society has grown to over 500 members.  To learn more about the history of DOS please see “The First 50 Years of the Delmarva Ornithological Society,” published in the Delmarva Ornithologist in 2013.

In 2018, the society adopted new bylaws and changed its name to Delaware Ornithological Society to better reflect the scope and territory of this organization.

List of DOS Presidents

List of DOS Presidents and their terms

Jack Linehan                      1963-1965

Winston J. Wayne            1965-1967

Lloyd L. Falk                      1967-1969

Robert W. Thomen          1969-1971

William A. Brokaw           1971-1973

Philip M. Walters              1973-1974

Richard L. West                 1974-1975

Maurice L. Ernsberger      1975-1977

Joanne W. Patterson         1977-1979

Dudley Ross                      1979-1981

Doris J. Boller                    1981-1983

Winston J. Wayne            1983-1985

Charles E. Sample            1985-1987

Howard P. Brokaw           1987-1989

Robert G. Rufe                  1989-1991

Meta C. Little                     1991-1993

Frank C. Buhl                    1993-1995

John Janowski                   1995-1997

James White                     1997-1999

Jeffrey Gordon                  1999-2001

Michael Smith                   2001-2003

Robert G. Rufe                  2003-2005

Sally O'Byrne                    2005-2007

Derek Stoner                     2007-2009

Sally O'Byrne                    2009-2011

Matt Sarver                       2011-2013

Joe Sebastiani                   2013-2015

Bill Stewart                       2015-2017

Anthony Gonzon              2017-2019

Meghann Matwichuk      2019-2020

Michael Moore                 2020-2024

Joe Francis                        2024-