Prairie Warbler

History of the DuPage Birding Club

The Founding of the Club


Dick Blewett sent out the first memo October 19, 1984, calling all serious birders to a meeting of the West Suburban Bird Club on Monday evening, November 12, 1984 at 7:30 p.m. in building J of the College of DuPage.  The agenda was to discuss interest in organizing a birding group and program possibilities.  There were 17 people on that first computer list but hopefully there would be more interested birders in DuPage County.


Another notice went out on December 21, 1984 to once again meet at the College of DuPage on January 14, 1985.  This time, by-laws were to be adopted and a vote was to be taken to select the club name.  The program was a book review of the various field guides.


In the first official minutes of January 14, 1985 of the newly formed DuPage Birding Club the by-laws were adopted and dues were set at $10.  The club’s first officers elected were:


President:                                Dick Blewett

President Elect:                       Dick Young

Recording Secretary:              June Anderson

Corresponding Secretary:     Donna Desch

Treasurer:                                Hal Cohen


The club was to meet six times a year: January, March, May, July, September and November.

According to the January minutes, “The intent of the DuPage Birding Club is to provide fun and camaraderie between birders of all levels and ages while enjoying some serious birding experiences.”


Members were to come to the March meeting prepared to list two or three birds on their “wanted list” that they were to be contacted on if found in the area.  Also wanted was a brief description of favorite birding locations.


Following minutes showed meetings to be much the same as we currently hold.  Interest was in field trips and seeing rare or unusual birds.  Early programs were given by Ken Brock, Lee Johnson of Sand Bluff Banding Station, Jim Landing, Mark Spreyer, Joe Milosevich and other familiar names in the field of birding.  Many rare bird have been seen since those first meetings, but we are still following the basic guidelines set down by the charter members.

Congratulations to our founding members who had the vision to organize a birding club.

June Anderson

Dick Blewett*

Florence Burek   

Dave Carey

Marscha Chenoweth

Hal Cohen

Nancy Culp

Donna Desch*

Kay Hanson*

Patricia Hayes

Denis Kania

Mike Madsen

Mary & Marjorie Mattox

Pat Newman

Jack Pomatto*

Muriel Smith*

Dennis Streicher

Dean Thompson*

Barbara Vercoe

Dick Young

Jerry & Jody Zamirowski

*deceased as of 11/2016

Past Presidents

President                                             Term

Dick Blewett                                        1985-1986

Dick Young                                          1987

Hal Cohen                                           1988

Sally Baumgardner                            1989

Jerry Zamirowski                                1990

Eric Walters                                         1991

Karen Rodemaker                              1992

Charles Powell/Karen Rodemaker  1993

Peter Kasper                                       1994

Peggy Camden                                   1995

Joe Suchecki                                        1996

Noël Zak                                              1997

Jim Frazier                                           1998

Karen Fisher                                       1999

David Hodge                                      2000

Kate Frazier                                        2001

Carl Strang                                         2002

Jody Zamirowski                                2003

Jack Pomatto                                      2004

Bob Fisher                                          2005

Susan Kaley                                        2006

Jeff Chapman                                     2007

Diann Bilderback                               2008

Jeff Reiter                                            2009

Mary Bastrentaz                                2010

Michael Marlow                                 2011

Vicky Sroczynski                                 2012

Jeff Smith                                            2013

Linda Padera                                      2014

Margie Busic                                       2015
Davida Kalina                                     2016

Stan Zatarski                                      2017

John Baker                                          2018

Honorary Life Members


The privilege of honorary life membership is given by the Executive Committee to long-term members who have made sustained significant contributions towards the club and birding in the west suburban Chicago area, as specified in Article 9 of the Bylaws.


Muriel Smith

Richard J. Blewett

Hal Cohen


Recipients of the Distinguished Achievement Award


The Distinguished Achievement (or Service) Award is given by the Executive Committee for outstanding service to the club in a specific function.


Paul Mooring - November 10, 1986

Hal Cohen - September 15, 1989

Muriel Smith - September 13, 1991

Dick Young - November 11, 1993

Dick Blewett - December 4, 1995

Bobbie Perkins - January 9, 1997

Jim Frazier - September 8, 2005

Denis Kania - April 6, 2006

Urs Geiser - November 10, 2011

Yvonne Dempsey - July 11, 2019

Andrea Duffy - July 11, 2019

Pat Newman - July 11, 2019

Jeff Smith - July 11, 2019

Jody Zamirowski - July 11, 2019


(updated 7/2019)


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DuPage Birding Club, PO Box 3381, Glen Ellyn, IL 60138

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