2018 Spring Meeting

GOS Spring Meeting
Hiawassee, Georgia
May 18-21, 2018
Keynote Speaker – Dr. Bob Sargent, Past President, GOS
Friday Speaker – Ed Maioriello, host, Trivia Quiz
Bird List Compiled by Larry Carlile

If you weren’t able to join us in Hiawassee for the spring meeting, we missed you. Although the weather was threatening, all of the scheduled field trips departed (and returned!) on schedule. However, we occasionally had to take shelter from some heavy downpours. The trip I led to Hale Ridge had to take cover under the porch of a country store during a sudden deluge, but we had a good time watching Barn Swallows as they foraged over the pasture behind the store and occasionally rested on perches under the porch. By the end of the trip, we’d managed to have great looks at both Least Flycatchers and Willow Flycatchers. For a flatlander like me, that was quite a treat. Many thanks to all of the intrepid field trip leaders (Ed Maioriello, Patty McLean, J.P. Moss, Angus Pritchard, and Bob Sargent) who led trips for the spring meeting. We visited great destinations, such as Brasstown Bald, Burrell’s Ford Road, Hale Ridge, Ivy Log Gap, Gumlog Road, and Sosebee Cove, and tallied 107 species (see the complete list below).

On Friday evening, Second Vice President Ed Maioriello emceed a trivia quiz that was great fun and very tough! Our Saturday night keynote address was presented by GOS Past President Dr. Bob Sargent. Bob summarized the history of Bald Eagle, Golden Eagle, and Peregrine Falcon conservation in the state and presented the results of his work with Bald Eagles and Peregrine Falcons since he was hired as one of Georgia DNR’s nongame program managers in 2015. The good news is that Bald Eagles have made a tremendous recovery in the state, from no successful nests found in Georgia during most of the 1970s to a state record 218 occupied nest territories in 2017. However, the species still faces very real threats from collisions with cars, loss of nesting habitat, lead poisoning, and avian vacuolar myelinopathy, a neurological disease. Peregrine Falcons were probably never abundant in Georgia. Prior to the appearance of the nest in Tallulah Gorge State Park in 2015, there was only one documented record of a wild-type Peregrine Falcon nest in Georgia, which was found in 1942 in Cloudland Canyon State Park. Of course, the species is often seen in the state during migration, especially on the coast, and it has been nesting on highrise buildings in the Atlanta area since 1996. Bob noted that there appear to be at least four falcon territories in and around the big city. In April 2018, Bob, Jim Ozier, and Georgia DNR helicopter pilot Major Doc Watson conducted the first intensive falcon eyrie search in the state since 1995. Although some of the cliff faces they inspected appeared suitable for nesting, no peregrines or nests were found. To conclude his presentation—as an added bonus—Dr. Bob gave us an enjoyable quiz, just to make sure we’d been paying attention. Correct answers were rewarded with lovely Peregrine Falcon prints.

Bird List: 

Canada Goose

Wood Duck


Northern Bobwhite

Ruffed Grouse

Wild Turkey

Great Blue Heron

Black Vulture

Turkey Vulture

Cooper's Hawk

Red-shouldered Hawk

Broad-winged Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

American Coot


Mourning Dove

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Barred Owl

Common Nighthawk

Chimney Swift

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Belted Kingfisher

Red-headed Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

Pileated Woodpecker

Eastern Wood-Pewee

Acadian Flycatcher

Willow Flycatcher

Least Flycatcher

Eastern Phoebe

Great Crested Flycatcher

Eastern Kingbird

White-eyed Vireo

Yellow-throated Vireo

Blue-headed Vireo

Red-eyed Vireo

Blue Jay

American Crow

Common Raven

Purple Martin

Tree Swallow

Northern Rough-winged Swallow

Cliff Swallow

Barn Swallow

Carolina Chickadee

Tufted Titmouse

Red-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch

Brown-headed Nuthatch

House Wren

Carolina Wren

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Eastern Bluebird


Wood Thrush

American Robin

Gray Catbird

Brown Thrasher

Northern Mockingbird

European Starling

Cedar Waxwing


Worm-eating Warbler

Blue-winged Warbler

Black-and-white Warbler

Swainson's Warbler

Kentucky Warbler

Common Yellowthroat

Hooded Warbler

American Redstart

Cape May Warbler

Northern Parula

Blackburnian Warbler

Yellow Warbler

Chestnut-sided Warbler

Blackpoll Warbler

Black-throated Blue Warbler

Pine Warbler

Yellow-throated Warbler

Prairie Warbler

Black-throated Green Warbler

Canada Warbler

Yellow-breasted Chat

Eastern Towhee

Chipping Sparrow

Field Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Dark-eyed Junco

Summer Tanager

Scarlet Tanager

Northern Cardinal

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Blue Grosbeak

Indigo Bunting

Red-winged Blackbird

Eastern Meadowlark

Common Grackle

Brown-headed Cowbird

Orchard Oriole

House Finch

Pine Siskin

American Goldfinch

House Sparrow