Join us for this exciting virtual meeting where Lindsay Dimitri will share some of her research on how birds can act as restoration specialists. When people think of birds and seed dispersal, they generally think of a bird consuming a fruit and passing the seeds intact (endozoochory). However, many plants rely on scatter-hoarding by birds in order to disperse their seeds. We'll review seed dispersal by birds in general, then dive into an often-overlooked plant-animal interaction, with examples from local ecosystems as well as other fascinating interactions that have been observed globally.
About The Speaker: Lindsay Dimitri earned her M.S. at the University of Nevada, Reno studying the seed dispersal systems of western and Utah juniper. During her master's, she was the teaching assistant for Field Ornithology for 3 semesters helping students learn to identify the birds of Nevada. She's volunteered on 3 bird surveying efforts in Ecuador, and also surveyed herpetofauna in Costa Rica. Lindsay worked at the USDA Great Basin Rangeland Research Station for 17 years where she studied the impacts of invasive weeds on birds and small mammals, small mammal population dynamics, juniper seed ecology, and cheatgrass genetics. She recently began teaching 7th and 8th grade science at the Mountain View Montessori School, where she hopes to inspire future birders and naturalists.
Richard Podolsky is marine scientist with expertise in the behavioral ecology of seabirds, especially puffins, albatross, shearwaters and petrels. He worked for 11 summers on National Audubon’s Project Puffin that successfully restored Atlantic Puffins to several Maine islands. For his doctoral degree from the University of Michigan, Podolsky restored the Laysan Albatross to the Hawaiian Island, Kauai. Following this study, Dr. Podolsky completed his postdoctoral training at the Charles Darwin Station in the Galápagos Islands where he restored the critically endangered Galápagos Petrel. Podolsky lives in Camden, Maine.
Richard presented on Tuesday, January 25th at 7:00 pm.
Our December bird of the month is the Pinyon Jay. Pinyon Jays are known for foraging in Pinyon pines, hence their namesake. Pinyon Jays are a larger jay, and sometimes mistaken for small crows.
Pinyon Jays are found throughout the American West and even parts of Baja California. They are often seen in the Great Basin region due to the Pinyon trees that can be found here. Flocks of Pinyon Jays can be seen in Alum Canyon and have been recently observed on Peavine here in Reno. The Pinyon Jay is a Watch List species due to habitat loss.
Lahontan Audubon Society is partnering with the Great Basin Bird Observatory on an exciting community science project to advance our knowledge of this unique species. Join us for our upcoming free monthly meeting where you will learn all about the natural history of Pinyon Jays and how you can support conservation efforts. To register for the member meeting click below.
For more information about Pinyon Jays and to hear recordings of their call, please visit the Audubon Field Guide entry below:
The Pinyon Jay is a charismatic corvid that can be seen locally, including in Alum Canyon and recently on Peavine. Unfortunately, their population has declined nearly 80% since the 1970s and the Pinyon Jay is a Watch List species due to habitat loss. Join us on Tuesday, December 14th at 7:00 for this virtual presentation by the Great Basin Bird Observatory. This webinar will feature background on the species, research, and ways that you can help with ongoing monitoring and conservation efforts.
As the weather becomes chilly, many of our feathered friends make their way south for the winter, but where do they go? Mario Cordoba returns to share with us the Costa Rican habitats of our local bird species. Find out which species are enjoying annual tropical sojourns and how Costa Rica and Nevada are connected by our birds.
Join Mario Cordoba, a Costa Rican native, for a Zoom webinar on the Western North American Birds in Costa Rica. Mario has been birding since childhood and guiding for over 25 years. He has guided numerous trips for birding groups and international natural history organizations such as the National Audubon Society, Bird Watcher’s Digest, National Geographic Society, Road Scholar, and the Sierra Club in Costa Rica, Panama, and Ecuador. Mario will be leading two Costa Rica birding trips for the Lahontan Audubon Society in February 2022.