September Meeting

Wed 13 September 2017 07:30pm

Ryu Callaway – Proposed Roost Census
Rahula Perera - Mixed species foraging flocks in the Sinharaja Rainforest, Sri Lanka

The short presentation will be an overview by Ryu Callaway of the proposed Roost Census, including the observations currently being sought, what the survey will entail, and what we hope to gain from the survey, along with an update on the current progress.

The main presentation will be by Rahula Perera, field biologist, active member and a past president of the Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka on “Mixed species foraging flocks in the Sinharaja Rainforest, Sri Lanka”.

Wet lowland rainforest is considered to be the most diverse area on earth after coral reef.  Sinharaja is the last vestige of Sri Lanka’s rainforest.  Considering its biological diversity and ecological value, it has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.  Among many natural wonders occurring in this ecosystem, mixed species bird flocks are a quite spectacular phenomenon.  In these flocks, a large number of birds belonging to different taxa, group together for daily chores.

The research on mixed species flocks in Sinharaja is one of the longest, continuing to date since 1981. Rahula has worked as an active research team member for a number of years and has been a close associate of the project even after. In this presentation, he discusses why and how flocks are formed each day, factors that determine the size of the flock, mechanisms they use to reduce risk of predation and how they reduce the intra and inter species competition.

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