[CT Birds] New Haven Bird Club Activities in March

Larry Bausher lpbausher at comcast.net
Mon Feb 24 10:47:30 EST 2014


Here is the New Haven Bird Club’s schedule of activities during March:

Indoor Meeting:

Monthly Meeting, Thursday, March 13. Alejandro Rico-Guevara  
—“Hummingbird Feeding Mechanics: Implications of Ecology and  
Evolution”.  Free and open to the public. Whitney Center Cultural  
Arts Center, 200 Leeder Hill Drive, Hamden. Every animal on earth  
faces a great challenge every day: It has to find enough food to  
survive  but  also because the amount of energy obtained will  
determine the outcomes of every task it undertakes, from growing to  
reproducing. In the wild, resources are limited because different  
kinds of animals have developed ways to rapidly consume them.  
Alejandro, a researcher in Margaret Rubega’s ornithology lab at  
UConn, investigates an extreme example of this specialization to  
exploit resources in the quickest way possible: hummingbirds drinking  
nectar. The ultimate goal of his work is to bridge the gap between  
our knowledge of how feeding works, why that leads to certain  
foraging decisions, and how ecological and evolutionary patterns  
emerge from the relationships between feeding mechanisms and  
behavior. The research is fascinating. To understand the hummingbird  
world one needs to slow them down while they do what they have  
evolved to do better than any other vertebrate: feeding on flowers.  
Alejandro has studied their drinking mechanism using high-speed  
cameras, filming over a thousand frames per second at full  
resolution, and using different cinematography tricks to achieve top  
quality research information. He has filmed hummingbirds from  
California to CT and from Canada to Brazil, pursuing different  
species with bizarre beak shapes. He has even developed and deployed  
automated systems to trigger high-speed cameras in high-Andean  
forests, the habitats with the most species of hummingbirds in the  
world.  Social half-hour at 7:00, program at 7:30. For more  
information: www.newhavenbirdclub.org or 203-230-1697.

Field Trips:

First Wednesday Walk: Stratford: Shores/Great Meadows Marsh.   
Wednesday, March 5, 2014, 8:00 a.m. Free and open to the public.   
Join us as we visit this fine birding area. We will meet at the Long  
Beach parking lot and bird the marsh and beach and then visit  
Sikorsky Airport and Frash Pond. We’ll look for sea birds such  as   
Long-tailed  Duck  and  scoters, as  well as  raptors  and  
shorebirds.  Directions: Follow signs to Sikorsky Airport from Exit  
30 off I-95. Go past the airport entrance and follow the causeway to  
the end. Take the first right onto Oak Bluff Avenue and follow it to  
the Long Beach entrance. Leaders—Charlie Barnard: 203-521-9798,  
chbarnjr at gmail.com and Tina Green: 203.247.2660,  
petermgreen at hotmail.com.

Gull and Gannet Frenzy, Stratford Seawall, Stratford.  Saturday,  
March 29, 2014, 10:00 a.m. Free and open to the public. We'll look  
through potentially thousands of gulls and see dozens of Gannets too  
as they feast on an annual plankton bloom along the coast. Meet at  
Lordship Seawall at south end of Washington Pkwy (near Marnick's  
Restaurant, 10 Washington Pkwy), Stratford. Leader—Frank Mantlik:  
203-984-9410, mantlik at sbcglobal.net.

Larry Bausher, West Haven
NHBC Publicity Director

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