Student Programs


Presentations Archive

Flight Calls of Red Crossbills and Evening Grosbeaks
Lance Benner • October 2, 2020

Red Crossbills are finches with beaks that cross at the tips. In North America they have been classified into eleven types based on their flight calls and one, the Cassia crossbill, has been split into a different species. Evening grosbeaks are finches with large beaks that have been classified into five populations based on their flight calls and geographic distributions. Since 2011, Lance Benner has obtained hundreds of red crossbill and evening grosbeak recordings. This led to the discovery that the Red Crossbills in southern Califorina mountains are type 2s, that crossbills irrupting into the lowlands have been type 2s or type 3s, and that evening grosbeaks in this area have been types 1 and 2. This talk will discuss the biology and adaptations of Red Crossbills and evening grosbeaks, make extensive use of eBird maps to illustrate their geographic distributions, and use recordings and sonograms to demonstrate how to identify their flight calls.

How do Birds Molt their Feathers and Why Does it Matter?
Ryan Terrill, PhD • September 4, 2020

Feathers are a key innovation for birds because they provide many different functions for birds. Feather replacement strategies must balance the immediate needs for feathers with loss of function during molt. Ryan’s research focuses on the on the evolutionary patterns and exogenous drivers of the diversity of molt strategies in birds.

The California Condor
Teodelina Martelli • August 7, 2020

Teodelina shares her knowledge and experience in studying the magnificent California Condor. With a wingspan of nearly 10 feet and weighing up to 25 pounds, the California Condor is the largest land bird in North America. Condors once ranged from California to Florida and Western Canada to Mexico. However, their populations declined dramatically in the mid-20th century, largely due to lead ammunition. Teodelina will tell the story of their amazing recovery driven by efforts from the US Fish and Wildlife Society’s California Condor Recovery Program.

The White-Crowned Sparrow
June 6, 2020

We were honored to have Jon Dunn and Kimball Garrett give a very informative presentation: THE WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW (ZONOTRICHIA LEUCOPHRYS). Participants learned that there are five subspecies of White-crowned Sparrows: gambeliinuttallileucophryspugetensis, and oriantha. Each differ in bill color, feather patterns, and distribution throughout North America. Interestingly, some even differ in vocalizations!