San Mateo County, California
Birds in Trees -- Using evolution to understand bird taxonomy and relationships
Speaker: Rob Furrow
May 11, 2017
Who decides which species goes first in your field guide? Why are falcons next to woodpeckers, and not near hawks? We can use some basic principles from evolutionary biology to understand how the trees of species relationships (phylogenetic trees) are built. With this under our belt, we'll learn about the taxonomy of North American birds, and make note of some surprising connections.
Rob Furrow works as a biology educator, teaching freshman courses at Stanford University and students of all ages in the Intermediate Birding course at the Palo Alto Adult School. He is passionate about education, birding, and their intersection, and serves on the board of Sequoia Audubon Society.
Plovers in a Changing Environment
Speaker: Karine Tokatlian, Manager SFBBO Plover Program
June 8, 2017
Western snowy plovers in the south San Francisco Bay nest on former salt evaporation ponds, and since 2003, the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory has monitored these cryptic, federally threatened shorebirds. Unfortunately their population continues to struggle in the South Bay with mounting predator pressure and habitat loss due to tidal marsh restoration. The San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory is investigating the method of using oyster shell habitat enhancement to maximize breeding success in the wake of their changing environment.
Karine Tokatlian manages the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory's Plover Program and oversees plover-related research and monitoring activities. Karine has a B.S. in Field and Wildlife Biology from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and is currently working toward an M.S. in Environmental Studies at San Jose State University. She has nine years of professional experience monitoring protected breeding bird populations along the California coast, including the Western Snowy Plover and California Least Tern. As a California native, Karine has a profound respect for the conservation of coastal and bay ecosystems and is grateful for the opportunity to nurture her interests through the efforts of the Bird Observatory.
Snowy Plover nest
The programs for additional meetings will be posted when available. (Topics subject to change.)