Connecticut Audbon Society

Young, Gifted and Wild About Birds

The next generation has arrived with great hopes and plans for the future. See what they have to offer on Young, Gifted, and Wild About Birds, Connecticut Audubon’s signature series of webinars, featuring bright young scientists, artists, and activists.

We search for smart young people doing interesting work, and invite them to make an hour-long presentation to our members and the general public.

The reaction has been nothing less than fantastic.

“Really exciting and inspiring to watch young scientists and feel the passion that they bring to their work!”

“Well done, Connecticut Audubon! The Young, Gifted, and Wild About Birds series was both interesting and educational. A real treat to ‘meet’ such an impressive cadre of young scientists.”

You can view the presentations from 2021, 2022 and 2023 below.

January 2024: Viveca Morris and Meredith Barges, authors of “Building Safer Cities for Birds,” discuss the efforts in and around Yale University to reduce the number of birds that die in window crashes.

February 2024: Diego Ellis Soto, a Ph.D. candidate in ecology and evolutionary biology at Yale, presents his research on the issues facing urban birds and birders.

March 2024: Author and photographer Heather Wolf, takes the viewer through her latest book, Find More Birds: 111 Surprising Ways to Spot Birds Wherever You Are.


December 2020: Deja Perkins, master’s degree candidate at North Carolina State University, spoke about #BlackBirdersWeek and biases in how bird data is collected. She is now working on her Ph.D.

January 2021: Dennis Liu, Ph.D. “Half Earth and All The Hummingbirds.” Dennis is vice president of education for the Half Earth Project of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation.

March 2021: Jordan Rutter, shown here, and Gabriel Foley, founders of the Bird Names For Birds initiative, discussed the problems that can arise when a bird is named after a person. birdnamesforbirds.


February 2022: Dr. Brooke Bateman, director of climate science for the National Audubon Society, started the 2022 season with “Birds Are Telling Us It’s Time To Act On Climate Change.” She wrote an article on the same subject for our 2021 CT State of the Birds report.

March 2022: Artist and illustrator Jenny Kroik, a Manhattan resident known for her work in The New Yorker and many other places, paints and sketches as she discusses her work and her love for birds.


April 2022. Ph.D. candidate Murry Burgess of North Carolina State University talks about her research into the effects of artificial light on Barn Swallow chicks. It’s an important discussion in an era of Lights Out awareness.


March 2023. Mikko Jimenez, who is working on a Ph.D. from Colorado State University, discussed the rise of the use of radar to track migratory birds and how it is now being employed to predict big migration nights. It’s an important took for bird conservation.

February 2023. Joanna Wu, an ecologist and ornithologist at UCLA, talks about the conservation implications of overlooking female birds in favor of more colorfully-plumaged male birds.

January 2024: Rebecca McCabe, Ph.D., a biologist at the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Pennsylvania, talks about the work she has done studying Snowy Owls as part of Project SNOWStorm.

March 2024: Stefan Martin of Connecticut Audubon and Beth Amendola of Audubon Connecticut discuss their collaboration to protect beach-nesting birds.















January 2021: “The Song of the Ovenbird,” with Eliza Grames, who earned a Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut. She has since earned her Ph.D. and is Dr. Eliza Grames.

February 2021: Mariamar Gutierrez Ramirez, who earned a Ph.D. from UMass Amherst. “The Ordeal of Bird Migration.” Mariamar has since completed her Ph.D.and is now Dr. Gutierrez Ramirez.

April 2021: Dr. Desiree Narango of UMass Amherst made a presentation called, “The birds, the bees, the flowers and the trees: Creating habitat for wildlife in our cities and suburbs.”


February 2022: Sam Apgar, who earned her Ph.D., from the University of Connecticut, discussed her research on tidal marsh birds such as Saltmarsh Sparrows and Clapper Rails, and the peril they face because of sea level rise. 

March 2022. Shannon Curley, Ph.D., and Jose Ramirez-Garofalo, a Ph.D. student at Rutgers University, discuss their work at Freshkills Park on Staten Island, where the world’s largest landfill has been transformed into an oasis for grassland birds.


January 2023. Corina Newsome of the National Wildlife Foundation discussed the 2022 U.S. State of the Birds report and how it proposes to try to reverse the 30 percent decline in North American bird populations that has happened over the past 50 years.

March 2023. Allison Black is a Connecticut-based ornithologist with a contract to survey sea birds for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Her presentation takes you on board from day one as she identifies birds and deals with the rough seas.

April 2023. Kathi Borgmann, Ph.D., the communications manager for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, talks about “From Sound Recording to eBird Status and Trends Maps: How Citizen Science Informs Bird Conservation.”






Follow Us Facebook Twitter Instagram