Jan 14, 2012
Birding at Stratford: Left Out In the Cold.
with Andrew Dolby, PhD, University of Mary Washington
They’ve tugged at your heartstrings before: those balls of fluff that wait patiently nearby as you fill up the feeder on a cold January morning. While we can’t deny our winter birds a little sunflower seed and suet, we can be amazed at how tough these Carolina Chickadees and Tufted Titmice really are. Birds are high-performance biological machines. How do such small warm-blooded animals with impressive energetic demands survive winter, when food is scarce and temperatures are cold? This presentation will cover both anatomical and physiological adaptations that allow birds to cope with the challenges of winter.
April 21, 2012
Songs and Calls: No Idle Chatter
with Andrew Dolby PH.D.
Most of us take for granted that the sound of birds constantly surrounds us, but what are birds’ songs and calls really communicating? The scientific study of birds’ vocalizations has been revolutionized over recent decades to reveal a truly sophisticated communication system. This talk will introduce the anatomy, physiology, and ecology of bird song and will explain the modern tools that biologists are using to decipher their hidden messages. Bird song may sound like nature’s pleasant background music to our ears, but for the birds, singing is serious business.
June 16, 2012
Nesting and chick development: Nature’s Architects
with Andrew Dolby PH.D.
Upon examining a typical bird’s nest, one cannot help but be impressed with how birds manage to build such structures without the benefit of opposable thumbs! Since birds can’t afford to carry their young internally, chick development must fully take place in the elements of nature. The critical need to protect incubating eggs and vulnerable developing young in different environments has given rise to astonishingly complex nest architecture. This presentation will cover the surprising array of nest construction, from the most elaborate to the most frugal.
September 29, 2012
Bird migration: Nature’s Incredible Journey
with Andrew Dolby PhD
One of the great athletic performances in all of nature is the regular mass movement of birds from one continent to another, often across great expanses of water and inhospitable deserts. This presentation will delve into the physiological, ecological, and behavioral mechanisms that make such an impressive feat possible. Incredible advances in modern technology have allowed the study of bird migration to become more detailed than ever, and this talk will explain some of these new tools. Finally, intercontinental travel poses unique hazards, and thus, special challenges must be overcome to conserve migratory species.
All birding programs are from 9:00 AM-1:00 PM, each costs $10.00 per person, and tickets will be sold at the ticket house. The lecture will begin in the duPont Library. Lunch items will be for sale in the Gift Shop Cafe. The $10 ticket will entitle attendees to a tour of the Great House. These programs are FREE to FOS members. A minimum of 5 registrants is required in order to present each program. Please contact Jon Bachman at email@example.com or call 804-493-8030 ext.2010 to register for any or all of these programs.
Overnight accommodations with complimentary continental breakfast are available at a reduced rate. For more information contact Lesley Brooks at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message at 804-493-8038×2014 or x2016 and make plans to spend the night.
A behavioral ecologist who holds a Ph.D. from Ohio State University, Andrew Dolby is an Associate Professor and Chair of the University of Mary Washington’s Department of Biological Sciences. Dr. Dolby’s research interests include the evolution of bird song complexity and its function as a mate choice signal, mixed-species flocking behavior, and the avian physiological stress response. Andrew teaches courses in ornithology, animal behavior, ecology, and evolution for Mary Washington. He is a member of the American Ornithologists’ Union and is currently serving as President of the Virginia Society of Ornithology.