WBNC Westmoreland Bird & Nature Club, southwestern Pennsylvania
Westmoreland Bird & Nature Club

Birding and nature observation
in Westmoreland County
southwestern Pennsylvania

About the club || Meetings || Field Trips & Outings || Newsletters & other Docs
Links || Join || Application Form || Sitemap


Westmoreland Bird & Nature Club

The Westmoreland Bird and Nature Club is a natural history organization serving Westmoreland County and surrounding areas. The WBNC is primarily an outdoor club averaging about 30 field trips a year for birds, butterflies, flowering plants, dragonflies and damselflies, trees and general ecology. Outings can be hiking, canoeing or cycling in nature. Sometimes impromptu field trips are organized over the internet. In addition, members participate in the Audubon Christmas Bird Count and the Pennsylvania Annual Migration Count in early May. Field trips are sometimes held in conjunction with the Botanical Society of Westmoreland County (BSWC), and the Three Rivers Birding Club (3RBC). Several members also belong to the Western Pennsylvania Mushroom Club. There are three general membership meetings a year including a summer picnic. All meetings are held in the Barn at the Donohoe Center, 218 Donohoe Road, Greensburg. The 10-18 page newsletter entitled The Syrinx is published four times a year summarizing past field trips, upcoming events, natural history information, and recent bird sightings. The Westmoreland Bird & Nature Club (formerly Westmoreland County Bird Club) formed on Feb 26, 1981 to promote interest in birds and conservation and to provide field trips in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. The first newsletter, Vol. 1 No. 1, was for March 1981. In that newsletter five field trips were scheduled. Seven people were listed as paid charter members.

Club Membership: $7 individual/family. Paid memberships currently stand at 217. All Membership Dues are due in January, unless you joined after September 1st. See Join for details.

facebook: Westmoreland Bird and Nature Club Find us on facebook for a more interactive online interface. Feel free to post relevant and appropriate nature related comments and upload photos.

red trillium

Current officers of the club

Executive Committee - Dick Byers, Tom Pearson, Tom & Billie Moser, Dale Matusa, Joe & Arlene Kalinowski, Rose Tillman, Len & Linda Hess
Secretary/Treasurer - Rose Tillmann
Newsletter Editor - Dick Byers
Bird Records - Karen Jackson
Archives Scrapbook - vacant
Website and facebook - Tim Vechter

History of club officers

Great Blue Heronry, 2014     Great Blue Heronry, 2014
Great Blue Heron colony, April 1 2014. Photos by Tim Vechter.

Great Blue Heronry     Great Blue Heronry, 2014

Great Blue Heronry
Great Blue Heron, April 1 2014.

Black-crowned Night-Heron, 2014     Black-crowned Night-Heron, 2014
Black-crowned Night-Heron at Loyalhanna Creek downtown Latrobe, by the Rt981 (Lloyd Ave) bridge, March 27 2014.
"In Pennsylvania, the black-crowned night-heron is listed as state endangered and protected under the Game and Wildlife Code." Photos by Tim Vechter, 2014.

Gray Screech Owl, 2013     Red`Screech Owl, 2013
Screech Owls, gray and red phase, photos by Dick Byers, 2013.

Fox Sparrow, 2013
Fox Sparrow, photo by Dick Byers, 2013.

Harlequin Duck - Keystone State Park, Nov. 19 2008
Harlequin Duck at Keystone State Park, Nov. 19 2008.
Reported by Linda Huber & Ken Byerly.
Photo by Dick Byers.

Pine Siskin - Latrobe PA - 21.Jan.2009
Pine Siskin in Latrobe PA, Jan. 21 2009.

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Sandhill Crane

Lake Ethel in Derry, PA
Mid December 2007 to last week of April 2008.

Sandhill Crane Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane Sandhill Crane Sandhill Crane

More Sandhill Crane info is at wikipedia || Middle Creek || Platte River Nebraska || Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge || International Crane Foundation

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Upland Sandpiper Upland Sandpiper
Hutter's Farm
Mammoth-Kecksburg PA
May 25 1996
Sedge Wren
3rd Bridge
Loyalhanna Creek
Latrobe PA
June 7 1997
Sedge Wren

Both species are listed as threatened in Pennsylvania by the PA Department of Natural Resources. A threatened species may become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout their range in PA. An endangered species is in danger of extirpation throughout their range in PA.
Endangered & Threatened Species of Pennsylvania: PA Game Commission (Animals, Birds) || DCNR (Plants) || Fish & Boat Commission (Fishes, Turtles, Snakes, Lizards)

Atlas of Breeding Birds in Pennsylvania


Club Meeting

Members Night

Donohoe Center Barn
Thursday, November 20, 2014
7:00 p.m. Doors open 6:30

Come hear the exploits of your fellow naturalists over the past year, socialize, taste cookies and buy chances on a Chinese silent auction of nature books and nature paraphernalia. Contact Linda Hess (724-422-0644) or by email (lnlhss1_AT_gmail_DOT_com ) if you have digital pictures to show. A dozen cookies is optional.

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Click for Latrobe, Pennsylvania Forecast

Field Trips for Fall of 2014

Cancellation Policy: In the event of inclement weather, please call the field trip leader in advance to confirm if the outing is on or canceled. The leaders have the right to cancel. Please check weather reports and road conditions. If there's any question, please call the leaders for confirmation. Car pooling is a good idea. Field trips are free and open to the public.

Weather for Latrobe (weather.com) || Weather for Westmoreland County || Weather(underground) for PA

Sat. Oct. 11 The Seventh Big Sit
As always, runs midnight to midnight. Come any time, stay as long as you want and help us identify birds from the comfort of a chair. Bring a charcoal grill and cook your dinner there or bake some cookies for the birders. Several will arrive before daybreak to call for owls. We'll try to set some new records. Highest single day species total is 43 with 70 species overall for the past 6 years. Highest number total is 373 set in 2011. We'll be at our usual spot at the marsh platform across the road from the beach parking lot in Keystone State Park. Join us for a day of camaraderie and fun with other birders.

Sun. Oct. 19 Packsaddle Gap
For fall foliage,wildflowers and straggling migrants. This walk will be a bit strenuous over hilly terrain with spectacular views, but worth the exertion. Meet Tim Vechter at 9:00 a.m. in the Blairsville Walmart parking lot in the corner near Advanced Auto Parts (south side of Route 22 east).

Sun. Nov. 2 Jacobs Creek Waterfall
Checkout this beautiful site that should have become public property. Meet Tim Vechter in the parking lot at the end of Boy Scout Club Road at 10:00 a.m. From the Rt. 119/981 intersection just west of Mt. Pleasant, follow 981 S for about 6.2 miles and turn left on Boy Scout Camp Road. Drive to the parking lot at the end of the road and park in the SGL # 296 parking lot.

Sat. Nov. 15 Waterfowl Tour
Meet Ken Byerly (724-468-8594) at the Beaver Run 380 parking lot at 9:00 a.m. Duck season is in, but we'll confine our tour to areas where the duck hunters aren't allowed. We'll check Loyalhanna, Keystone, Derry Lake, Latrobe Reservoir. Dick Byers will check the latter two impoundments on the way over. If there's no duck fallout, we'll consider other options.

Thur. Nov. 20 Club Meeting
Members Night. Details above.

Sun. Dec. 28 Bushy Run Christmas Bird Count
Got the post-Christmas blues? Relieve your depression by joining a higher group of mortals on the Bushy Run Christmas Count. Contact Dick Byers (phone-email-snail address on the front cover) for an assignment... or to request an area in the count circle prior count day. Meet at the Delmont McDonalds Restaurant on Route 22 (a half mile west of the 66/22 cloverleaf) at 7:30 a.m. Feeder counters need not attend. Send your feeder list to Dick via email, snail mail or phone. We will decide at the morning meeting whether to return to McDonald's for the count tally or King's Restaurant in Delmont. King's restaurant does not take reservations, but if we vote to go there for dinner the first parties returning must tell them more are coming so they'll put us all together in their back room.

Note: for the email addresses replace "_AT_" with "@", and "_DOT_ with ".", without the quotes. This is done to help foil spamming programs.

Bookmark outings.htm on a mobile device for quick download of scheduled outings for a text only listing of outings.

Samples of recent newsletter and Christmas Bird Count results:

The Syrinx, Voicebox of the Westmoreland Bird & Nature Club, Vol. 33 No. 1, Jan. –Mar. 2014

40th BUSHY RUN S.P. CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT 2013 (114th) [Can open in Wordpad]
BushyRun 2013 Syrinx.doc

Click for Syrinx Newsletter          Click for Syrinx Newsletter

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Links to other web sites about nature and birds seen locally. These links can become inactive at any time.

Links to external websites will open in separate windows

Photos by Mark McConaughy:

Pine Siskin, White-winged Crossbill at Bushy Run Battlefield, Westmoreland Co., Feb. 2009

WBNC outing to West Lebanon, Indiana County, Feb. 24 2008.

Common Redpolls at Bushy Run Battlefield Park

Sandhill Crane at Derry Lake, Dec. 31 2007.

Herring Gull Nest in Armstrong County, 29 May 2005.

Short-billed Dowitcher at Mammoth Wetlands and Mammoth Lake, Sat. May 14 2005.

Hays Bald Eagle Cam in Pittsburgh || University of Pittsburgh Falcon Cam || Pittsburgh Gulf Tower Falcon Cam || Osprey Cam southeast PA

Westmoreland Botanical Society

Western Pennsylvania Mushroom Club

Three Rivers Birding Club

Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh

Botanical Society of Western Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Birding News at ABA || Birding mailing lists at ABA

Archives of PABIRDS@LIST.AUDUBON.ORG, Bird discussion list for Pennsylvania, Login required. || To subscribe or unsubscribe to the PABIRDS discussion list

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pink lady's slipper

To join Westmoreland Bird & Nature Club

Please send check or money order, made out to Westmoreland Bird & Nature Club to:
Rose Tillmann
PO Box 188
New Derry PA 15671
$7 individual/family. $20 supporting membership.
Include your name and address for the mailing list. Phone number, Email address, etc., is optional.

All Membership Dues are due in January, unless you joined after September 1st.
You can print and use an online application form by Clicking here.

current club patch

previous club patch

WBNC Bumper Sticker

Bookmark outings.htm on a mobile device for quick download of scheduled outings. outings.htm is a text only bare bones web page.

facebook: Westmoreland Bird and Nature Club Find us on facebook for a more interactive online interface. Feel free to post relevant and appropriate nature related comments and upload photos.

Web page, and photos (unless otherwise noted), by Tim Vechter.

For places to bird in Westmoreland County click here

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