Newsletter of the Delaware Ornithological Society
 The Flyer 
Volume 54 | Number 4 | December 2022
Next meeting: December 21!
"Slate-colored" Dark-eyed Junco by Shannon Modla.

Letter from the President

A profile of DOS President Mike Moore.For birders, December is Christmas Bird Count season. The Christmas Bird Count has been a citizen science tradition for over 120 years. The first count was conducted on 25 December 1900. Today 2,600 counts are conducted throughout the western hemisphere involving over 80,000 volunteer participants. As the oldest running citizen science project, the data provide an extremely important perspective on long-term changes in bird populations.

Christmas Bird Counts have been running in Delaware since 1939, starting at Bombay Hook. The Delaware Ornithological Society manages six of the seven Christmas Bird Counts in Delaware: Wilmington, Middletown, Bombay Hook, Milford, Cape Henlopen-Prime Hook, and Rehoboth. These counts will be held between 17 December 2022 and 01 January 2023. Anyone can participate. Beginners are welcome. If you want to participate in one of the counts or learn more about them, you can find more information including contact information for the compilers of each count on the DOS website here.

Whether you participate or not, you will not want to miss the DOS Christmas Bird Count wrap up meeting. Each compiler will report on the results of their count, and you can find out about all the rarities discovered and the trends in bird populations revealed by the latest counts. It will be held at Ashland Nature Center on 18 January at 7:00 PM. 
 -Michael Moore, DOS President
Renew your membership now!

December 21 Meeting:

"For DOS, By DOS" 
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm EST

Join us for a long held DOS tradition: For DOS, by DOS! This social meeting is an opportunity for DOS members to make short presentations on any topic of their choice.

This meeting will be in-person at Ashland Nature Center.

Upcoming Field Trips

Midwinter Bird Walk at Alapocas with Sally O’Byrne
January 18, 2023 @ 8:30 am – 12:00 pm EST

Pine Warbler by Chris Bennett

Come out and get to know some of the birds that are at home in the woods and fields during winter!

Our leader is Sally O’Byrne, contact at [email protected] if you have questions about this trip.

Meet at the Blue Ball Barn near the traffic circle on West Park Drive off Rt 141.

Sea Watch II with Chris Bennett & Anthony Gonzon
January 22, 2023 @ 8:00 am – 12:00 pm EST
Long-tailed Duck drake

Two more opportunities remain to join Anthony Gonzon and Chris Bennett for brisk birding adventures at the Indian River Inlet this winter!

January 22, 2023 – 8am until 12pm
March 12, 2023 – 8am until 12pm

To be enjoyed at the Southside Day Use Area (parking lot on the south side of Indian River Inlet along the ocean). Participants should monitor the DOS website and social media for last minute changes due to weather or other conditions.

Come prepared for cold conditions and the seashore wind and bring your scope if you have one.

Participants should monitor the DOS website and social media for last minute changes due to weather or other conditions.

Contact our leaders Chris Bennett at [email protected] and Anthony Gonzon at [email protected] if you have any questions.

Red Knot Youth Birders

The Red Knot Youth Birders logo, which is a digital rendering of a red knot walking, surrounded by text.

Saturday, December 17th, 9:00 to 11:00am
123rd annual Christmas Bird Count
Newlin Grist Mill Park

Help out with the longest running citizen science project in North America! We will be counting birds at the Newlin Grist Mill Park as part of the West Chester Christmas Bird Count. Meet at the Visitor Center and be ready to count all the birds you can see and hear for science!
Sign up at [email protected] to receive field trip schedules and other updates for the fall.

Brandywine Bird Walks

Brandywine Creek State Park in conjunction with the DOS will be hosting monthly bird walks in Delaware’s oldest state park. The walks are on the last Saturday of every month (except December) and start at the Nature Center at 8:00 am. The park entrance road is from Addams Dam Road near the intersection of Routes 100 & 92. This will be a 3-hour walk through rough terrain, bring boots and bug spray. The walks are free but parking fees are in effect.

December date – pending for Wilmington CBC date.

Call For Speakers

Our "For DOS, By DOS" meeting is returning this December! Any member is welcome to propose something to speak about during this meeting. If you are interested, please contact DOS Vice President Matthew Halley.

Time to renew your membership?

All members in good standing receive the Delaware Ornithologist journal in December. This year’s issue is big with lots of interesting articles. Don’t miss it and renew your membership now! Memberships must be renewed by November 15th to receive a copy!

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 annual pass is $32.50 for Delaware vehicles and $65.00 for out-of-state vehicles. Click here to get your pass!

Proposal to build Cape Henlopen State Park Restaurant Withdrawn

Recently Delaware's Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) publicized a proposal to build a restaurant at Cape Henlopen State Park. DOS President Mike Moore, Conservation Chair Matt Sarver, and member Sally O'Byrne wrote a letter in opposition to the proposal, available for DOS members to read here. This letter was sent to Governor John Carney, Secretary Shawn Gavin, and State Parks Director Raymond Bivens.

The public was encouraged to attend an in-person meeting on December 5th to provide their feedback to DNREC on the proposal. Following this meeting, DNREC announced a decision that it will not proceed with the restaurant proposal.

Delaware Audubon's Annual Dinner is December 10th at 6pm at Timothy's at the Wilmington Riverfront. Please join Delaware Audubon in honoring this year's Conservation Award recipients Jeff & Liz Gordon, both long time DOS members.

Find more details and register here.
Shop DOS Merchandise!


Both the Ashland and the Golden Eagle on October 19th, 2022 by David BrownCape Henlopen Hawk Watches had record seasons this year. Thank you to all volunteers who helped out with the counts!

Read the full report here.


The counts are concluded for the year. Please join us again next year!
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker by Shannon Modla.

Christmas Bird Counts 2022-2023
Fall is slowly slipping away, and it is time to start thinking of winter birding possibilities, especially the annual Christmas Bird Counts.  Delaware Ornithological Society sponsors six counts– Wilmington, Middletown, Bombay Hook, Rehoboth, Cape Henlopen/Prime Hook and Milford. All the counts are looking for birders to participate. Contact the appropriate count compiler if you are interested in joining any or all this year’s Christmas counts.
Wilmington –17 December 2022 – Compiler Jim White [email protected]
Bombay Hook – 18 December 2022 – Compiler Andy Ednie [email protected]
Milford –   20 December 2022 – Compiler Chris Bennett [email protected]
Middletown – 22 December 2022 – Compiler Anthony Gonzon [email protected]
Rehoboth –31 December 2022 – Compiler Sally O’Byrne [email protected]
Cape Henlopen/Prime Hook- 1 January 2023 - Compiler Bruce Peterjohn [email protected]
The Wild Birds Unlimited Logo.
- Your backyard bird feeding specialist -

"Keep your birds full this winter!"

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

Lancaster Pike & Yorklyn Road
Hockessin, DE

DOS Backyard Birding Challenge

Andrew Dunn continues his lead with 146 species, gaining 1 species this month. What will these 10 dedicated eBirders find during CBC season? There's still time for the rankings to shake up by year's end.

Compete by submitting eBird checklists from your own yard. 

Learn more here.
*Rankings as of Dec 2, 2022.

Member Photo Gallery

Northern Pintails and Field Sparrow by Mike Moore.
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.
Current DOS Officers & Committee Chairs
Copyright © 2022 Delaware Ornithological Society, All rights reserved.

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

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