Young, Gifted, and Wild About Birds
An extraordinary Zoom series.
Seven younger-generation conservationists, scientists, and ornithologists carrying out newsworthy and innovative work.
Subscribe to all six for the price of five at the special discount price through November 30.
For members, only $6 each or $30 for all six presentations.
For non-members, only $9 each or $45 for all six.
#BlackBirdersWeek: The Hashtag that Started a Movement
Deja PerkinsThursday, December 17, 7 p.m.
Deja Perkins is a founder of #BlackBirdersWeek and a master’s degree candidate in Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology at North Carolina State University.
Last spring, a Black bird watcher in Central Park had his life threatened when a dog walker called the police. It alarmed the community of Black birders throughout the country, who quickly mobilized to start #BlackBirdersWeek. It highlighted the presence of the Black outdoor enthusiast community at large, and drew attention to the hazards and experiences of Black birders all over the world.
In her presentation, Deja Perkins will talk about the origins of #BlackBirdersWeek, and how inclusive practices are important for recreation and preventing racial and spatial biases in the collection of bird data.
The Song of the Ovenbird
Thursday, January 7, 2021, 7 p.m.
Eliza Grames, a Ph.D. candidate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut, has spent the last several years working with a team of undergraduate researchers to find Ovenbird nests in Connecticut and record their songs, trying to determine why some males sing later into the summer than others.
She’s also studying why small forest fragments are less densely populated with songbirds than larger fragments.
What she’s discovered through modeling and song analysis may have important implications for the conservation of Ovenbirds, whose numbers in the state seem to be declining.
Half-Earth and All the Hummingbirds
Dennis Liu, Ph.D.Thursday, January 28, 2021, 7 p.m.
Dennis Liu is vice president of education at the E.O. Wilson Foundation’s Half-Earth Project. The goal of the Half-Earth Project is breathtaking in its scope: to protect half the land and sea in order to manage enough habitat to reverse the extinction crisis and ensure the long-term health of the planet.
Dennis will discuss how E.O Wilson’s vision came about and how the project is attacking the problem. He’ll focus in particular on conservation strategies important for our planet’s diversity of birds.
The Ordeal of Bird Migration
Mariamar Gutierrez RamirezThursday, February 18, 2021, 7 p.m.
Migration is an ordeal for New England’s songbirds. Red-eyed Vireos, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Baltimore Orioles — those species and many others travel vast distances to and from their breeding grounds.
Mariamar Gutierrez Ramirez, a Ph.D. candidate and a Ford Foundation fellow at UMass Amherst, is using quantitative magnetic resonance and Motus tracking technology to study the body condition and survival of songbirds in migration. What she’s learning could have a big effect on conservation decisions and on the birds’ well-being.
Jordan Rutter and Gabriel FoleyTuesday, March 16, 2021, 7 p.m.
Is it acceptable to honor a person who believed of Black men that “his intellect … is greatly inferior to that of the Caucasian, and that he is, therefore, as far as our experience goes, incapable of self-government”?
What if that same person also owned slaves? Meet the Rev. John Bachman of South Carolina. Like many others with similarly histories, he is honored eponymously in the form of two songbirds, Bachman’s Sparrow and Bachman’s Warbler.
For Jordan Rutter and Gabriel Foley, the founders of the Bird Names for Birds initiative, the answer is clear: No, it is not acceptable.
Bird Names for Birds is an initiative to change honorific English common bird names; since its inception last summer, McCown’s Longspur—named after a Confederate officer—has been changed to Thick-billed Longspur. Jordan and Gabriel will talk about Bird Names for Birds, why it’s important, and what the future holds for it.
The birds, the bees, the flowers and the trees: Creating habitat for wildlife in our cities and suburbs
Desiree Narango, Ph.D.Wednesday, April 21, 2021, 7 p.m.
Dr. Narango, the David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellow Postdoctoral Researcher at UMass Amherst, will speak about her studies of plant-animal interactions and wildlife diversity in urban areas across the United States. She will share information about the birds and insects we share our parks and yards with and how management decisions in urban green spaces impact conservation success in New England and beyond.
She will also share resources to find information about nature-based gardening and participating in community-driven science.