Ongoing throughout the afternoon will be our fundraiser SILENT AUCTION.

Brandi Van Roo: (The Joy of) Studying Birds

Never has it been more important to collect data on our wild birds, whether it be done by academics like Dr. Van Roo or by citizen scientists reporting their observtions to eBird, Project Feeder Watch, or the more-than-one-hundred-year-old Christmas Bird Count. Dr. Van Roo’s research activities have spanned the spectrum of analysis, from the physiology of individual behavior to ecological interactions between species, to contributing to national, longitudinal studies of avian breeding success and the perpetual monitoring of seasonal migrations. Although catching and banding birds is at the heart of each of these studies, the demands, techniques, and outcomes vary significantly. Dr. Van Roo will share with you the joys, and the trials, of these activities in an attempt to explain why she continues to dedicate herself to their pursuit.

Brandi Van Roo has been studying birds for more than twenty years. She earned her Ph.D. in ecological and evolutionary behavior from Indiana University in Bloomington , Indiana. She is Professor of Biology at Framingham State University where she teaches undergraduates how to conduct research and offers courses in ornithology, animal behavior, and wildlife biology. Dr. Van Roo has also served as the designated wildlife-biologist-member of the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife regulatory board for more than a decade.

Devin Griffiths: Double Vision: Seeking Rare, Watching Common

We birders are attracted to the rare and different. It’s natural, of course; we all love the thrill of finding something new, or seeing birds we don’t often encounter. And we love the challenge of identifying an unknown or uncommon species. The promise of those experiences—the potential of the possible—is one of the great joys of birding, and drives us to get out and look. In all the excitement over the unusual, though, we sometimes fail to appreciate the everyday birds who keep us company. However, without these regular companions birding would often be a lonely pursuit. The challenge for us is to strike a balance between them. Devin will give us a look at birds both rare and common, and share some of the moments that have inspired him. By the end, he hopes you’ll leave with a renewed sense of wonder, and an appreciation that crossing paths with any of these magical creatures is truly cause for celebration.