Newsletter of the Delaware Ornithological Society
 The Flyer 
Volume 53 | Number 9 | May 2022
Next meeting: May 18th!
An ovenbird perched against a green and red background of leaves.
Ovenbird by Mike Moore.

Letter from the President

For many birders May is the mostA profile of DOS President Mike Moore. anticipated month of the year because spring warbler migration is the most anticipated birding event of the year. Following warm nights with southerly winds, the trees and bushes fill with these brightly colored neotropical migrants. Delaware has a rich warbler avifauna with 15 breeding warbler species and another 20 possible in migration. However, don’t forget the migration of other birds that peaks in May. The migration of the often-confusing shorebirds peaks in May and they are often seen in their less confusing breeding colors. Flycatchers often sing in migration, making them much easier to identify. And while you are craning you necks to looks at treetop warblers, don’t forget to scan the understory for one of the several species of thrushes that can be seen in Delaware in May.
For DOS, May is Bird-a-thon month. This year, DOS’s signature event is being held on 1-8 May. In the 16 years since it began, the Bird-A-Thon has raised over $600,000 for conservation, helped preserve over 2,400 acres of habitat and supported DOS's Conservation Science Grants program. Funds raised this year will support the purchase of the 165-acre Cataldi property near Woodland Beach. Thanks to Mike Hudson and Matt Sarver for organizing this event. Please consider donating to this year’s effort. To donate or learn more go to
Finally, I want to congratulate Andy Ednie for being the recipient of the 2022 DNREC Environmental Education Individual Volunteer of the Year award. Andy has been a fixture in the Delaware Birding Community for decades and is the author of the weekly Birdline distributed to DOS members. He recently joined the DOS leadership as Chair of the Citizen Science Committee. Read more below. Congratulations Andy!

 -Michael Moore, DOS President
Renew your membership now!

Avian Influenza Warning

Three flying snow geese against a plain blue sky background.
Snow Geese by Mike Moore.

Recent cases of Eurasian H5 Highly Pathogenic Influenza (HPAI) in Delaware and other states have prompted responses from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Delaware Department of Environmental Control (DNREC).

Please see this DNREC statement for more information on personal precautions and precautions for domestic birds. 

To report groups of dead or sick waterfowl, shorebirds, gulls, hawks or owls, contact the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Wildlife Section Wildlife Disease Program at 302-735-3600.

Upcoming Field Trips
A male Prothonotary Warbler perched against a yellow-green soft background.

Nanticoke Wildlife Area
Sunday May 1, 2022

This trip will focus on recently-arriving songbirds, including Prothonotary and other warbler species, Vireos, Tanagers, along with other residents. A Conservation Access Pass is not required for Phillips Landing, but may be needed at later stops on this trip within the wildlife area.

Meet at Phillips Landing, Nanticoke Wildlife Area at 8 AM. Participants should expect at-grade hiking for most of this field trip. Sturdy waterproof footwear is recommended and be sure to bring along water and insect repellant!

Please contact Anthony Gonzon with questions regarding the trip at [email protected].


A male Scarlet Tanager perched against a mottled green background.

Blackbird State Forest
May 7 @ 8:00 am – 12:00 pm  

Led by Ian Stewart - limited to 20 participants.

In this twist on an old walk, we will explore the area around the headquarters of Blackbird State Forest followed by a convoy to some of it’s lesser known corners in search of specialty birds and fresh experiences! Offered during the week of the DE Bird-A-Thon for folks out for the count.

Meet in the main parking lot by the pavilion (there is a parking lot by the office as you enter but keep on going past that), accessed by the entrance along Rt 471 Blackbird Forest Rd (if you are coming from US 13 the entrance is on your left just after you pass the turn for Oliver Guessford Rd. Please contact Ian to reserve a spot

A male Chesnut-sided Warbler perched against a soft green background and framed with bright yellow green leaves.

Mother’s Day Walk at White Clay Creek
May 8 @ 8:00 am – 12:00 pm

Come spend Mother’s Day at beautiful White Clay Creek State Park looking for local breeding birds and late migrants still passing through. This walk is offered during the DE Bird-A-Thon (DBAT) and led by Judy Montgomer. [email protected]

Meet at the Chambers House Nature Center off of Hopkins Road in Newark; State Park Fee/Pass required.

A willet standing on a muddy stretch of shoreline.

DE Bay Horseshoe Crabs & Shorebirds
May 15 @ 8:00 am – 12:00 pm

We will scan the harbor for birds near high tide and then head south to Slaughter Beach and Prime Hook Beach Road in search of migratory shorebirds and other coastal water birds. This trip is led by Chris Bennett. [email protected]

Meet at the DuPont Nature Center in Mispillion Harbor.

Red Knot Youth Birders Trips

The Red Knot Youth Birders logo, which is a digital rendering of a red knot walking, surrounded by text.
 Saturday May 21st, 8am to 10am
This month, the Red Knot Youth Birders will be adventuring around the trails at Ashland Nature Center as we look for migrating warblers, thrushes, flycatchers, and more! Youth birders must be accompanied by an adult. Loaner binoculars will be available. Please email [email protected] to RSVP.
Youth birders pointing to a bird on a field trip.

Sunday, May 22nd, 9am to 3pm
The youth birding committee will be at the Brandywine Shad Fest with our bird beaks activity this month. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the group and find out ways your family can participate.  

May Meeting: Patricia Gonzalez

"Shorebird Conservation in the Americas"

Patricia Gonzalez holding a shorebird for research.

Patricia Gonzalez is a field ornithologist from Argentina who studies migration of Red Knots throughout the Americas. She is known as “Red Knot Woman” and “Mother of Moonbird.” She currently works at the University of Buenos Aires and has been studying shorebird conservation for more than 20 years. 

Members will receive an email with Zoom login info prior to the meeting. If you are not a member and would like to attend, please click here to request login info which is available a few days before the meeting.
A tagged red knot walking along a pebble sand beach with horseshoe crabs. The background is blurred water along the shore.
Now is a great time to check out shorebirds! Delaware is an incredibly important stopover area for migrating shorebirds like the Red Knot. Some excellent shorebird viewing spots include the DuPont Nature Center along the Mispillion River, Bombay Hook NWR, and Cape Henlopen State Park.

You can also check out the Bar Charts eBird tool to see when certain species will be more common and plan your birding trips efficiently.

Below are the nominations for next year’s members of the DOS Council.  Elections will be held at the May regular monthly meeting.  At the April monthly meeting the DOS Bylaws state: “any member present may propose additional nominations for any office on the ballot. Any such proposal must be supported by at least five additional members. No nominations may be made after the April regular monthly meeting.”

DOS Council Nominees
Mike Moore: President
Shannon Modla: Secretary
Angie Barbato: Treasurer
Matthew Halley: Vice President
Kayla Krenitsky: Council member

Mike Moore is a retired Biology A profile of DOS President Mike Moore.professor who has been a life member of DOS since he moved to Delaware from Arizona in 2009. He started his life list when he was 11 years old and has been an avid lister ever since.  He serves as an eBird reviewer for Delaware. As current DOS president, he has tried to help advance DOS’s multifaceted mission, strengthen its relationship with partners. and increase its visibility in the birding community. 


Shannon Modla began birding inShannon Modla with a bug on her nose. She's making a funny face :) 2009 in Delaware and enjoys using photography to capture the beauty of birds and other flora and fauna. She is grateful for the conservation efforts put forth by DOS and their ability to secure important habitats that will support populations of birds and other creatures. Shannon has recently become enthusiastic about the implementation of native plants in residential landscapes and their ability to provide ecological benefits.

Angela Barbato: A profile of Angela BarbatoRaptors! Raptors! Raptors! They are what took me beyond backyard birds. I started as a volunteer at the Ashland Hawk Watch in 2012, then joined DOS shortly thereafter and have seen so many amazing things and met so many fantastic people thanks to this membership. Hawk Watch, Falcon Watch, and Bird Banding have been my favorite activities, and now I look forward to taking on a larger role in this one of a kind organization. 

Matthew Halley is anMatthew Halley pictured among the museum collection where he works. ornithologist and historian from Chester County, PA, who has been active in the Delaware Valley birding community for more than a decade. He is the author of numerous research papers and a popular blog about the evolutionary biology of American birds and the history of American science. He earned an MS degree from Delaware State University (2014) and a PhD from Drexel University (2021), where he conducted extensive research on Catharus thrushes and other American songbirds. Halley is also known for relocating lost artifacts, specimens, and manuscripts which have transformed our understanding of the history of American ornithology. He currently serves as the Interim Curator of Birds at the Delaware Museum of Nature & Science and is a Research Associate at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.

Kayla Krenitsky has been a A profile of Kayla Krenitskymember of DOS since 2018 and currently runs the DOS Instagram account under the membership committee. She has always had a love for nature and wildlife and graduated with a B.S. in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Delaware in 2015. She began seriously birding during college and has been hooked ever since. She is looking forward to contributing to the organization on a deeper level and furthering the mission of DOS.
A rufous hummingbird approaching a red and clear hummingbird feeder. There is a message reminding people to clean their feeders for happy birds.
Rufous Hummingbird by David Lewis.

Access Pass Reminder

Don't forget: Conservation Access Passes are required to visit state wildlife areas such as Augustine (including Ashton Tract), Assawoman, Cedar Swamp, and Woodland Beach.
The cost to renew your pass is $32.50 for Delaware vehicles and $65.00 for out-of-state vehicles. Click here to get your pass!
BirdCast Migration Dashboard Graphic

2022 Bird-a-thon!

A crowd of birders looking upward through binoculars.
The Delaware Bird-A-Thon is back and under way! This year's Bird-A-Thon is running from May 1-8, 2022. In the 16 years since it began, the Bird-A-Thon has raised over $600,000 for conservation, helped preserve over 2,400 acres of habitat, and supported DOS's Conservation Science Grants program.

Brochures will be mailed directly to members in April, but registration forms, the full list of rules, and tips and tricks for a successful Bird-A-Thon are available on our website.

In years past, Bird-A-Thon funds have been used to protect critical habitat across the state of Delaware, from the marshlands around Mispillion Harbor to the Fortner Farm in the Augustine Creek drainage to the famous Fowler Beach. This success is wholly because of the support that our partners, and DOS members like you, have shown us. Thank you, and we look forward to another successful Bird-A-Thon!
A Blue Duck against a soft green background. This is a reminder that Cornell's Global Big Day is on 14 May 2022.

DNREC Volunteer Award Recognition

Andy Ednie (left) presented with the DNREC Environmental Education Individual Award by DNREC Secretary Shawn Gavin.
Andy Ednie (left) presented with the DNREC Environmental Education Individual Award
by DNREC Secretary Shawn Gavin (right).

On April 18th, DOS member Andy Ednie was presented with a Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Annual Volunteer Education Award. Specifically, he was awarded Environmental Education Individual Volunteer of the Year.

Please be sure to congratulate Andy the next time you see him!

Read more here.
Shop DOS Merchandise!
A Black-and-white Warbler perched on a horizontal branch. The background is soft green and brown.
Black-and-white Warbler by Shannon Modla.
The Wild Birds Unlimited Logo.
- Your backyard bird feeding specialist -

"Are you ready for orioles?"

A baltimore oriole perched on an orange feeder.

Wild Birds Unlimited-Hockessin 
Open Monday to Saturday 9 am to 5 pm.

Lancaster Pike & Yorklyn Road
Hockessin, DE

Bird ID Pop Quiz!
This month's bird ID pop quiz shows a short beaked, long-winged bird in flight. Its underbelly is white and back appears gray/blue.
What's this bird? Click here for the answer.
Photo by David Lewis.

DOS Backyard Birding Challenge

Andrew Dunn continues in the lead, gaining 5 species since last month.

The rankings are sure to shake up over the next couple of weeks as spring migration hits its peak! Compete by submitting eBird checklists from your own yard. 

Learn more here.
The current top 10 eBird rankings for backyards in Delaware.
*Rankings as of April 28, 2022.
Virginia Tech Shorebird Program Announcement.

Member Photo Gallery

A male Indigo Bunting perched on a branch. The background is lime green foliage.
A singing White-eyed Vireo perched on a branch. The background is mottled gray and tangled with stems.
A male Black-throated-blue Warbler perched against a soft green background.
Indigo Bunting and White-eyed Vireo by Mike Moore. Black-throated-blue Warbler by Shannon Modla.
Want to see your photos in the Flyer? Submit them to [email protected]!

DOS Flyer Archive

Click here to read digital copies of past Flyers.
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