Meetings

HOFFMANN BIRD CLUB’S MEETINGS, PROGRAMS and GUEST SPEAKERS

Fort the 2016 – 2017 season…

Monthly meetings are held at Guardian Life Insurance, 700 South Street, Pittsfield, Hoffmann Bird Club LogoMassachusetts or at Pleasant Valley Sanctuary, 427 West Mountain Road, Lenox, Massachusetts. See the schedule below for specific dates and locations. Most meetings begin at 7:00 PM.  They are FREE and OPEN to everyone interested in birds. Come enjoy the schedules, programs, and light refreshments. Bring a friend!


Friday, September 2, 2016, 5:00 PM
Potluck Dinner and Monthly Meeting

Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary
427 W. Mountain Rd., Lenox    01240


Monday, October 3, 2016, 7:00 PM
Randy Dettmers
Senior Wildlife Biologist, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
“Monitoring and Conservation of Bicknell’s Thrush
From Mountain Birdwatch to Sierra de Bahoruco”
Guardian Life Insurance Co.
700 South St., Pittsfield 01201


Monday, November 7, 2016, 7:00 PM
Kevin J. McGowan, PhD

Project Manager of Distance Learning in Bird Biology
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Lead author of 2nd Breeding Bird Atlas of New York
“To Know the Crow: Insights and Stories From
Over a Quarter Century of Crow Study”
Guardian Life Insurance Co.
700 South St., Pittsfield 01201

Kevin is a professional ornithologist and avid birder. He is currently the project manager for Distance Learning in Bird Biology in the Education program at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. He is the instructor for the long-running Home Study Course in Bird Biology (now the revised Ornithology: Comprehensive Bird Biology), the online course Investigating Behavior: Courtship and Rivalry in Birds, and the Be a Better Birder online tutorials and identification webinars. Kevin was the co-editor and primary author for the book, The Second Atlas of Breeding Birds in New York State, one of the creators of the Cornell Lab’s All About Birds website, and the former curator of the bird and mammal collections at the Cornell University Museum of Vertebrates.  Kevin has been studying the biology of a population of crows in central New York since 1988, and has followed the life stories of over 2,500 banded individuals.

Kevin was president of the New York State Ornithological Association (NYSOA) in 2003-2005, and a member of New York State Avian Records Committee in 1999-2003. He is currently a Fellow of the American Ornithologists’ Union.


Monday, December 5, 2016, 7:00 PM
“HBC Member’s Night”

Bring 10 digital images and holiday sweets to share
and sign up for the Christmas Count!
Guardian Life Insurance Co.
700 South St., Pittsfield 01201


Monday, March 6, 2017, 7:00 PM
Greg Ward, HBC Member

“Birding the American Southwest”
Guardian Life Insurance Co.
700 South St., Pittsfield 01201


Monday, April 3, 2017, 7:00 PM
Bryan Pfeiffer

Professor and Writer
University of Vermont
“Insects for Birders”
Guardian Life Insurance Co.
700 South St., Pittsfield 01201

A writer and field biologist, Bryan Pfeiffer navigates the wild places where people and nature converge. Birds and insects drive a lot of Bryan’s outdoor aspirations. But in truth he finds pleasure in whatever swims, slithers, crawls, walks, hops, flies, sits, grows or decays along life’s long, green path, which basically means Bryan is easily distracted. Just ask his students. He also teaches writing to field naturalists and ecologists at the University of Vermont.

On his journey toward nature and writing, Bryan began with a degree in chemistry and a passion for mountaineering, which led to his employment scaling Rust Belt smokestacks to measure (and inhale) air pollutants. From there, downward, with notions of saving the world, he discovered journalism.

Bryan’s articles and essays have appeared in Orion, Aeon Magazine, The New York Times, Field & Stream, The Progressive, Eating Well, Northern Woodlands and lots of other places. He co-authored Birdwatching in Vermont, a guide to finding and enjoying the state’s birds; co-hosted an award-winning radio program on birds; and wrote and hosted a public television special called Birding in Vermont. Along the way Bryan has been or still is a bread baker, a pot washer, a firefighter, a nature guide, a videographer, a mercenary writer, a beat reporter and a consulting biologist chasing birds and insects for municipalities, non-profits, timber companies and private landowners.

Now at work on two books, Bryan is wrapping up a collection of essays called FLIGHT: A Year With Airborne Animals. Because he spends so much time outside, Bryan is making glacial progress on another book titled PANTALA: What a Dragonfly Tells Us About Sex, Evolution and the Human Condition. Find him online at http://www.bryanpfeiffer.com or behind a plate of eggs and homefries with friends at his favorite greasy-spoon diner.


Saturday, May 6, 2017, 5:00 PM
Hoffmann Annual Banquet

Ian Davies
eBird Project Assistant, Cornell University
“The Secret Lives of Shorebirds”
HBC’s Annual Banquet/Meeting
Mazzeo’s Ristorante
1015 South Street, Pittsfield, MA

Ian Davies works at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology as the Project Coordinator for eBird (ebird.org), a free global database of bird sightings that is used by birdwatchers, researchers, and conservationists worldwide. More than 340 million sightings of birds from every country on earth are available for free use by anyone, contributed by more than 320,000 birdwatchers like you. Ian got interested in birds at age 13 when he visited a banding station and released a Canada Warbler. He has been lost to the feathered world ever since. He enjoys traveling to find birds, making sure to collect information on the birds seen through eBird and sharing those resources with birding communities worldwide. He went to school at UMass Amherst, enjoys birding October Mountain State Forest, and holds both the Massachusetts and Berkshire County Big Day records (the latter with Ed Neumuth!).

The Secret Lives of Shorebirds:
Surprisingly robust, tiny sandpipers and plovers fly thousands of miles annually each fall from areas like northern Alaska to South America, returning in the spring on this same herculean journey. In this journey they pause to refuel in certain crucial stopover areas – such as the Bay of Fundy in eastern Canada, or numerous locations in coastal New England. After resting and refueling on the abundant invertebrates in mud and sand flats, the shorebirds take wing again, often flying non-stop for several days to reach their destination.

After witnessing shorebirds in the midst of migration, seeing the transformation on the breeding grounds is nothing short of awe-inspiring. The quiet and demure shorebirds that probe along our beaches transform into creatures with spectacular aerial displays and songs that rival any songbird.

This presentation will focus on the lives of shorebirds throughout their summer season, and the following migration southwards to our shores and beyond.

2017 Hoffmann Banquet Sign Up Form


Friday, June 9, 2017
Potluck Dinner and Birding

5:00 PM Birding-6:00 PM Picnic
Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary
427 West Mountain Rd., Lenox
Main courses (including a vegan option) and beverages are provided. Bring a side dish or dessert to share. Please bring your own place setting to help lighten the impact on the
sanctuary.