August Meeting

Wed 10 August 2016 07:30pm

Barbara Allan – the 2016 Bird Blitz
Dominique Potvin - City bird, country bird: The effects of urban noise on wildlife


Barbara Allan’s short talk will be the annual review of the previous year’s Bird Blitz, a brief look at the findings across the eleven years of blitzes thus far, and an invitation to participate in Blitz 12, on 29-30 October.  Please come along ready to nominate your preferred sites!

Dominique Potvin, a Postdoctoral Scientist at the Research School of Biology at the ANU, will give the main presentation entitled “City bird, country bird: The effects of urban noise on wildlife”.

Over the past decade numerous studies have observed changes in bird vocalizations – especially song – in urban habitats.  Such changes tend to increase the signal range in the new environment, and are therefore considered to be advantageous.  While some adjustments are flexible, others have been identified as cultural modifications occurring over generations, indicative of cultural evolution or adaptation.  However, the mechanisms mediating this evolutionary process are, as yet, unknown.  Dominique will be presenting results from field observations as well as captive experiments to try and dig deeper into the issue of how urban noise might be affecting bird songs, including investigations into population genetics, cultural evolution, behavioural flexibility, endocrinology, song learning and even brain development.



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