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April 29 - May 1, Memphis

The Tennessee Ornithological Society 2005 Annual Meeting was held in Memphis April 29 - May 1. The meeting was hosted by the Memphis Chapter, which celebrated its 75th anniversary during the meeting. It was also the 90th anniversary of the TOS.

As usual, highlights included the field trips and the banquet. Major field trip destinations were Ensley Bottoms/Earth Complex (a.k.a. the "pits"), Shelby Farms and Shelby Forest. Some highlights of the field trips shown below, clockwise from top left, included the rare Yellow-headed Blackbird and Harris' Sparrow and regular Memphis-area specialties Painted Bunting and Black-necked Stilt. Several attendees added new birds to their life and state lists. Click here for the meeting bird list compiled by Rob Peeples. Thanks to field trip leaders Rob, Dick Preston and Van Harris.

The banquet included a personal reminiscence by Fred Carney of his sighting of a family of Ivory Billed Woodpeckers in 1938. The main speaker, Paul Baicich, encouraged us to address bird-related issues as a group. In particular, he encouraged the purchase of Duck Stamps and support of land conservation efforts which will help preserve habitat for birds. We also awarded Distinguished Service Awards to 3 members, Nelle Moore and Theresa Graham of Memphis, and Tony Koella of Knoxville. Due to health reasons, Tony was unable to attend and his award will be presented to him at an upcoming Knoxville Chapter meeting.

Nelle Moore (left) and Theresa Graham (right) receiving Distinguished Service Awards from Virginia Reynolds and Jim Ferguson.

In the business meeting, the first dues increase in many years was considered and approved. The presentation by Ron Hoff, Chairman of the Finance Committee and Mac McWherter, Treasurer was the result of many hours of hard work by the committee and clearly stated the need for the increase. We established the TOS Publication Committee to address publication issues and serve as a source for consultation to the editors. One of their first projects will be the proposed digitization of back issues of The Migrant. A new slate of officers was elected with the exception of secretary.

Group Portrait. Click here to see a high resolution version (730 kb).

Above left: Incoming TOS President Danny Gaddy, Fred Carney, and outgoing TOS President Virginia Reynolds cutting the anniversary cake. Right: "No, the third bush from the left!"

More birds seen (and photographed) on the field trips. Clockwise from upper left: Solitary Sandpiper, Wilson's Phalarope, Savannah Sparrow and Sora.

As the new TOS President, I am fortunate to be working with such intelligent, capable, dedicated people. I encourage us to remember the strength in numbers and to know that we can do more with a concerted team effort. In an all-volunteer organization, everyone needs to do their part based on their skills and interests. I invite you to become more involved in TOS at the local and state levels. You might serve as an officer in your local chapter, become a state director (or just attend a state meeting), or volunteer for one of the state committees. Please help by providing input into future issues addressed by the organization. Together we make quite a team! Thanks again to all who made the Spring Meeting such a success!

Hope to see you this fall in Greeneville,

Danny Gaddy, TOS President

Photo credits: Yellow-headed Blackbird, Harris' Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, group portrait - Dan Mooney; Black-necked Stilt, Painted Bunting, Solitary Sandpiper, Sora - Harold Howell; Wilson's Phalarope, Distinguished Service Award presentations, cake cutting,and field trip group - Ron Hoff.

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Copyright © 2005 Tennessee Ornithological Society