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Birding Info

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General Meetings

Wednesday, May 15, 6:30 pm:

The Birth and Immortality of a Biological Myth: “year-round breeding by crossbills”

Presented by Tom Hahn

The things we “know” about animals are only as robust as the observations on which we base that knowledge. It is not unusual for “myths” about biology to creep into our knowledge base. These myths often begin with low quality or incomplete observations, followed by the drawing of overly presumptuous conclusions based on scant information. These myths can then become entrenched in the scientific literature and be perpetuated through un-careful citation of sources by later authors. In this talk I’ll share with you one example of this from ornithology – the myth of “year round breeding” by crossbills. I’ll trace the origin of this myth from sources in the older literature up through its current persistence in the minds and writings of ornithologists. Finally, I’ll highlight how field observers such as birdwatchers can help to avoid and eliminate these types of myths borne of insufficient observations.” Tom Hahn is on the biology faculty at UC Davis where he studies behavior and physiology of a variety of birds, especially reproduction and migration of crossbills and other nomadic finches, but also vocal behavior of a variety of songbirds such as white-crowned sparrows and Cassin’s finches. He is also a regular field trip leader at the annual Mono Lake Bird Chautauqua (coming up in June) where he discusses these fascinating topics.

This program will be presented at the Tuolumne County Library on Greenley Road, Sonora

 

Thursday, May 23, 6:00 pm:

Avian Structure and Function

Presented by Nancy Muleady-Mecham, Ph.D

Join Doc. Nancy for a literal look inside birds. How have they evolved to be the unique class they are today? From skeleton to muscles, digestion and their varied senses, we will explore these wonderful co-inhabitants of planet earth.

Doc. Nancy is an Adjunct Professor of biology at Northern Arizona University and Columbia College, Sonora as well as a Visiting Lecturer for the University of Virginia Semester At Sea Program where she taught biology around the world.  She was selected by the United States as a Fulbright Scholar and traveled to the Russian Federation teach at Gorno-Altaisk State University in southwest Siberia and to conduct research in remote protected areas.
Nancy is a retired United States National Park Ranger and lives in the Sierra Nevada with her family. When not working on her research on Giant Sequoias she loves to backpack. She has completed solo hikes of the John Muir and High Sierra Trails through the Sierra Nevada, hiked through the Alps on The Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt, and is a Pacific Crest Trail section hiker. She is the author of several books.

This program will be presented at the Bistro Espresso in Arnold.  For additional information about the program, please call Barry Boulton at (209)596-0612 or email Barry.

 

Board Meetings

Our board meetings usually are the third Wednesday of the month, September through May, and are at 3:30pm.  Audubon members are welcome to attend these meetings. For information on next meeting you may call Barry Boulton at (209) 596-0612 or email Barry.