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Open Public Meetings via Zoom

Until such time as coronavirus restrictions allow face-to-face public meetings, we will be conducting them only on-line using Zoom from October 2020 onwards.

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Wednesday, May 19, 6:30 pm

Zoom log-in info:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87615643816

“Vocal Dialects in Birds”

What exactly are they, who has them, and why does it matter?

Presenter Tom Hahn

Many bird watchers have heard that birds often display “song dialects,” but most people I’ve spoken with (even many professional behavioral biologists) use the term “dialect” very loosely as a synonym for “song type variant.” In fact, dialects represent a very specific form of song variation. In this presentation, I’ll describe the different kinds of song variation that exist and make clear what distinguishes dialects from these other types of variation, and show examples of species that do or probably do display dialects, as well as of some that have song variants but apparently lack dialects.

I’ll finish by discussing why knowledge of the occurrence and distribution of song dialects in a variety of species of birds is important, with an emphasis on how we all can contribute to our collective body of knowledge on this topic (e.g. by uploading our own recordings of birds from different geographic areas to forums such as eBird and Xeno Canto).

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 on-line in June) where he discusses these fascinating topics.

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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 him at rbarryboulton@gmail.com.