To Join the program: https://uoregon.zoom.us/j/96792227348?pwd=TS9UZitpUCtNNU5CZHNXajVIQnk5QT09
Polyglottal Passerines – Mimicry Is Not Just for Mockingbirds
While birding at Finley National Wildlife Refuge in his teens, Rich Hoyer heard the most amazing thing – a Purple Finch incorporating sounds of a California Scrub-Jay in its jumbled song. He thought he had discovered something new, since such behavior wasn’t mentioned in any field guide. Since then he’s been fascinated and intrigued by mimicry in birds, collecting personal observations and recordings of the phenomenon. In this audiovisual presentation, Rich Hoyer will present examples of mimicry in songbirds from throughout the Americas and share his enthusiasm for this curious and often entertaining behavior.
Born and raised in Oregon, Rich Hoyer earned bachelor’s degrees in German and Zoology at Oregon State University. Following a few years as an itinerant biologist and summer guide on Saint Paul Island, Alaska, he moved to Tucson, Arizona and has been working as a professional birding tour leader for WINGS for the past 23 years.
There are many reasons to love birding. It keeps your mind and senses active. Listening, observing, then trying to decide what bird you are watching are great exercises for the brain. It creates learning challenges for the visual, the sounds, and the memory of birds you know, to come up with a bird’s identification.
There is also a sense of anticipation and excitement in a day of birding. One is always looking for a new or unusual sighting that gives birding the feeling of a treasure hunt. At times there are surprising discoveries! One year on the Eugene Christmas Bird Count, Dave Bontrager identified a rare Falcated Duck on a pond near Coburg. It was a cold, wet, windy day but he persisted in watching this bird riding the whitecaps on the pond, until he was certain of its identity. Way to go Dave!
Bird watching also takes us out of our own headspace and into the world of the birds. Observing their behaviors and feeding strategies, watching them bathe and preen as they interact with each other, delighting in their lovely feathers and songs; all these offer us yet another aspect of the birding adventure.
Conserving biodiversity is a big challenge, but there is much we can do. Populations suffer from habitat loss and fragmentation, the wildlife trade, invasive species, and disease. These are exacerbated by climate change, as animals shift range, search for food, and crowd into smaller habitats. And all of these factors work together to stress populations, increase the chances of human encroachment into wildlife habitat, and provide the fuel for the next pandemic.
A concerted effort on the part of people cooperating to enact solutions is long overdue. But is cooperation possible? These are stressful times—the pandemic, the economy, politics, wildfires, and the state of the environment—just to name a few things. During times of stress, it’s easy for people to be less tolerant and less cooperative, for us to withdraw or just not want to bother. But we would do well in these difficult times to draw on the better aspects of human nature, our capacity to be generous, compassionate, and cooperative.
December Zoom program meeting is available here: Of Ravens, Wolves, and People https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIwKeopeJ9E
November Zoom program meeting is available here: Ultimate Africa: Tanzania & Uganda https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iha62Xtv4pI
October Zoom program meeting available here: All Tied Up in Knots: Seven Years with Calidris canutus https://youtu.be/hNOoonhbb2o
September Zoom program meeting Dead Trees: Why We Need Them https://youtu.be/efbd2V_KJAI
I want to express my gratitude for many levels of support Lane County Audubon Society (LCAS) receives from our members and volunteers. Every November we send our annual donation request to support our education, conservation, and outreach programs. Our members always respond generously to this request, and we are deeply grateful for the continued support of many people. Lane Audubon thanks you, members, for your financial support!