Letter from the President, February 2018

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Chipping Sparrow on Sassafrass

February, the shortest month of the year. It’s also one of the most difficult months for birders.  Many of us likely enjoy getting out in February to do some winter birding, despite the cold winds and (sometimes) snow.  Others among us may despise this month for birding because of the short days and limited number of species one might encounter.  Love it or hate it, February signals the approaching close of winter and the arrival of spring in only a few weeks.  Soon enough the warblers and vireos will return to our forests, the laughing gulls and shorebirds will cover our beaches and migration will pull us outdoors to enjoy birds, birding and the company of our fellow bird watchers.

The near arrival of spring is a time of renewal 

Something many of us look forward to!  Here at DOS, renewal has several meanings.  First, there is the obvious – renew your support for DOS and all the Society offers!  Field trips and meetings, comradery and conservation, if you have not yet renewed your membership, please consider it now.  If you already renewed last year – thank you!  Your support is what makes all the DOS does possible.

Bird-A-Thon Time!

Renewal can also be very personal and with the arrival of new spring migrants, DOS encourages you to renew your commitment to birding and bird conservation!  The Delaware Bird-A-Thon represents some of the best that birding can offer.  What other program, started by birders, supported by birders and benefiting birders has been as successful for Delaware and its birds?  Bird-A-Thon funds have contributed the protection of hundreds of acres in Delaware, many of which are now accessible to birders!  So, this year, renew your commitment to birds in Delaware and let’s make the 2018 Delaware Bird-A-Thon the greatest ever!

Lastly, our Society itself has embarked on a path of renewal.

With a growing and diversifying membership, new trips and programs, youth birding, conservation and research initiatives, outreach and fundraising and excellent publications, DOS Council has taken on the task of updating the DOS bylaws.  These bylaws govern DOS, establishing everything ranging from Council positions and committees to schedules and membership categories.  However, we realize that portions of the bylaws are dated and recent advances in technology and changing roles among members have led us to begin the daunting task of updating our guiding document. To date, a small number of Council members have met to identify bylaws that might benefit from updating and considering the overall structure of the bylaws.  The goal is to present a new draft of the bylaws to the Society in late 2018 for consideration. There will be more details coming soon, but if anyone would like to be involved please contact me – we could always use new eyes and new perspectives.  It’s a great way to get more involved in DOS!

Thank you again for choosing DOS and I hope to see you all in the field!

Anthony Gonzon, DOS President

Featured Image: Chipping Sparrow by Hannah Greenberg

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