Minutes of the San Francisco Field Ornithologists’ Meeting

January 19, 2001

Mark’s House


Present: Luke Cole, Hugh Cotter, Arlene Gemill, Alan Hopkins, Joe Morlan, Dan Murphy, Joan Murphy, Nancy Shelby, Dan Singer, Myra Ulvang, Jay Withgott


Call to order: President Eaton gavelled the meeting to order at 7:26 pm.

Reading of the Minutes: The minutes were approved unanimously (Joe moved, Harry seconded).

Treasurer's Report: Luke reported that we have 24 paid members, and $120 in the treasury.


SFFO Journal: much discussion was had on the issue of a journal, with consensus that it could include sightings of interest, where to bird, letters to the editor, and photos.  Joe suggested using the e-Groups file.

· Do we want to have SFFO.org, or piggyback on Mark’s ISP?  We decided to stay with Mark’s for now.

· Dan M. moved that we have an online journal, Luke seconded, it was approved unanimously.

· Hugh volunteered to do the sightings report (although he is not yet a member - LC).  Mark suggested that Stephen Davies, not present, be editor.  Jay Withgott was volunteered to write articles.


SF Breeding Bird Atlas: Dan S. reported on the history of the project.  He has talked with Rick Johnson, who as all the data entered for San Mateo and San Francisco Counties.  The initial idea was just to do San Mateo, but SF was added as a piggy-back.  The project stopped gathering data in ‘93-94.  Rick Johnson has been slowly working on maps for San Mateo only.

· The first major hurdle is the maps.  There are 9 blocks in SF, not including Treasure Island, the Farallons, and Alcatraz.  David N. volunteered to do the maps on his CAD program.

· The next major hurdle is species accounts.  San Mateo’s are not done.  Dan M. and Luke suggested that the species accounts focus on local knowledge and status, and Joe suggested they not include the life history of the bird as other atlases have done so.

· Jay wondered who the audience was.  Dan S. suggested ornithologists, city planners, policymakers.  Joe suggested that the data would only provide a baseline, and that we may need to update the atlas because the data is already years old.

· Dan S. agreed to get the data to David N.  David will create a map, get it reviewed, make a legend, input the data and create maps of the data.

· Jay wanted to change the data on the maps; Luke suggested a finer grid if we do a new atlas so there are more than 9 blocks.  Alan suggested that we include SF natural areas.  We need to include the islands.  There was discussion about the usefulness of the old data if we change the parameters under which the new is collected.

· Arlene moved that we immediately put the BBA data on the web, Dan seconded, it was approved.


SF Bird Survey by Cal Academy: Dan M. reported on the CAS bird survey, and the group reviewed the “suggested protocol.” There were differing opinions on how to contribute, or whether to.  Hugh and Alan questioned the effort, wondering about information overload.  Various methodologies were discussed.  The main question is, how to generate useful information?  Joe suggested we focus on species of special concern; Dan has generated a list that has been posted to SF Birds.  Hugh suggested “patch monitoring” – pick an area and do it; many are doing this already.  The issue was tabled after long discussion.


New business: Hugh suggested that SFFO should focus on activities that are FUN. 


Adjournment: 8:55 the meeting was adjourned.                                                              – submitted by Luke Cole, 1/20/01