Newsletter of the Delaware Ornithological Society
 The Flyer 
Volume 52 | Number 5 | January 2021
Next DOS member meeting: January 20th!
Long-tailed duck by David Lewis.

Letter from the President


A profile photo of Michael Moore.

I love winter birding.  Many people think of winter as a nadir in the birding year, but I will take a crisp January morning standing in the teeth of an east wind on the incoming tide at Indian River Inlet any day.  Gannets plunge diving offshore, Long-tailed Ducks bobbing in the waves and maybe an alcid will fly by or a white-winged gull.  Maybe not rarity season like late fall, but still ripe with possibility for the unexpected. 

January is also an important date for anyone that keeps any kind of year list.  Everyone starts at 0 on 01 January and the fun of building a list starts all over again and sets up the only time a birder is happy to see Starlings and House Sparrows. During the health crisis, we have encouraged birders to participate in the DOS Backyard Birding Challenge, a friendly competition hosted on eBird to see who can find the most birds in their yard in a year. Those who have participated have been amazed at the variety of birds in their backyard when they really start looking. In 2020, 13 birders reported over 100 species in their yards in Delaware and most of these were from average suburban yards. It is a safe, fun, and low environmental impact way to bird. Check it out under the Citizen Science tab on the DOS webpage. 

As the health crisis drags on, remember that getting out to bird is a great way to relieve stress and forget about everything else for a while. I believe it can be done safely if you avoid crowded areas and keep your distance from others. A great opportunity is to explore under-birded areas. 2020 will go down as one of the most epic rarity years ever in North America, but who know what 2021 will bring? I hope everyone birds as much as they can and has a safe and happy 2021. 

-Mike Moore, DOS President
Renew your membership now!

January 20th Meeting

A portrait of a snowman with a spotting scope.Join us for the annual Christmas Bird Count recap with CBC compilers from across the state, where we will learn about the most exciting discoveries our counters made! In addition, we will catch up with Lisa Smith and hear about some of Tri-State Bird Rescue’s best stories from 2020. 

Meeting will take place over Zoom from 7pm-9pm. Members receive a Zoom link via email a few days prior to meetings. 

Missing your December Flyer and Ornithologist?

Don't worry - they are in the mail, but caught in the USPS holiday backlog. Be on the lookout for them soon!

In the meantime, click here to read a digital copy of the December Flyer.

Get to know DOS member
Kayla Krenitsky!

Ms. Krenitsky monitoring an American kestrel nest box at Auburn Valley State Park. 
Kayla checking an American Kestrel box at Auburn Valley State Park.

Have you been enjoying DOS’s new Instagram account? If so, please join us in thanking Kayla Krenitsky, who volunteered to create and manage this new outreach effort! Ms. Krenitsky attended the University of Delaware and earned degrees in Wildlife Conservation and Agriculture and Natural Resources in 2015. She is originally from Harrisburg, PA and currently lives in Newark. Get to know more about Kayla below!

How long have you been a DOS member?
I have been a member of DOS since the fall of 2018. 

What is the best thing about being a part of DOS? My favorite thing about DOS is the field trips. I’m able to bird in new locations and learn from the expertise of other DOS members. One of the most memorable trips was to Granogue Estate with Bill Stewart and seeing over 50 Common nighthawks!

Do you have a ‘spark’ bird? My “spark” bird was a Cedar waxwing – I vividly remember birding in college in White Clay Creek State Park and I was thrilled to find one, which was a lifer for me at the time. 

What is your favorite bird and why? I have so many! But one of my favorites is the American bittern. I love that they lift their striped necks and slightly sway to mimic marsh grasses and reeds. I also appreciate the precision of their stealthy hunting behaviors. 

What is your favorite bird song? My favorite bird sounds belong to the American woodcock. The “peent” call is cute and unique, and I love the twittering sound made by air rushing through the primaries during the mating display flight. 

What’s the farthest you’ve traveled to bird or see a particular bird? Costa Rica and Alaska. In Costa Rica, I was able to see a Scarlet macaw, Keel-billed toucan, and Mottled owl among many more. Birding in Alaska was incredible as well – from Marbled murrelets, Common murres, and my favorites, the Horned and Tufted puffins! 

Where (that you haven’t been yet) do you daydream about birding most? I want to bird in Kenya and Uganda very badly. I would die happy if I could see a Shoe-billed stork. 

Do you create bird-related art? Yes! I paint in watercolor and acrylics. 

A painting of a Mourning Dove by Kayla Krenitsky.
A Mourning Dove painted by Kayla.

Share a favorite bird fact. Corvids are extremely intelligent and they behavior fascinates me, especially the ability to problem solve and build tools. One of my favorite facts is that they have been documented leaving a nut in the middle of the road and waiting for cars to run over it and crack it open, and then retrieving it. 

Membership News

Don't forget to follow our new Instagram
If you’re interested in serving on the DOS Membership and Outreach Committee and/or contributing towards the efforts described above, please get in touch with me at: [email protected] 

-Meghann Matwichuk, Membership Chair

Conservation Science Grants: Apply now!

The Delaware Ornithological Society (DOS) Conservation Science Grants support innovative investigations into bird conservation challenges. DOS encourages projects with a strong emphasis on species and habitat conservation and management.

We also are interested in projects that greatly enhance our understanding of the conservation requirements of bird species of conservation concern. To be eligible for funding, projects must be located within the state of Delaware or within the Delaware Estuary in Pennsylvania or New Jersey (see

Projects in adjacent areas with results that are transferable to this focus area may be considered at the discretion of the committee (please contact us before submitting). Grants are reviewed annually by a grant review committee appointed by the DOS Conservation Chair. This grant program is funded using a portion of the money raised by the Delaware Bird-a-Thon.

ELIGIBILITY — Open to non-profit organizations; university-affiliated researchers, including graduate students; and to qualified unaffiliated researchers.

SIZE OF GRANTS — Not to exceed $3,000

TIMELINE — Applications must be received by March 15, 2021.

HOW TO APPLY — Application materials can be found at here.


Youth Birding Update

Do you have a favorite birding spot in Delaware, Pennsylvania, or Maryland? The DOS Youth Birding Committee wants to know! We are looking to organize information about the best places for families to go birding in the region, but we can't do it without your help. Fill out the survey at the link below to tell us all about where you like to go birding and the features that make it great! Questions? Contact us at [email protected]
Take our survey!

DOS Backyard Birding Challenge

The DOS backyard birding challenge was fantastic this year! Check the final 2020 leaderboard below. You can join in on the fun with a clean slate in 2021! Learn more here.
*Rankings as of Dec 31, 2020.
Bird ID Pop Quiz!
The rear view of a bird in a fruit tree. The bird is a gradient of warm brown to yellow cream from head to tail, and the tail is tipped with yellow and black. A faint line of a black mask is visible on the side of the face. What bird am I?
What's this bird? Click here for the answer. Photo by Katie Bird.
Copyright © 2020 Delaware Ornithological Society, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
DOS, P.O. Box 4247, Wilmington, DE 19807

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.