Evening talks programme
Methodist Church Halls, 20 Marketgait, Dundee (click here for a map of the venue and surrounding area)
On the following Thursdays at 7.30pm:
04 Feb 2016 – St. Andrews University PhD projects: Nora Carlson and Esme Guerrero
“Many animals use anti-predator vocalizations to warn others and defend against predation. Many species include information about predators, such as size, distance, speed, type, etc., in these calls. The type of anti-predator vocalization Nora studies is mobbing, a behaviour and vocalization that not only drives off predators, but recruits other individuals to assist as well. We know a lot about how North America tit species include predator threat information in their mobbing calls and that they all do it similarly. But we still know very little about other tit species and if they also put information in to their mobbing calls the same way. Nora used robotic taxidermy mounts to study mobbing calls in British tits and found that there is quite a bit more variation in their strategies than in North American species”.
Nora is a postgraduate student at University of St Andrews. She has a degree in language from Kenyon College and one in wildlife biology from The University of Montana. Nora has combined these interests in her current area of study in vocal animal communication. Before this, she studied vocalizations in killer whales in Puget Sound and in red-breasted nuthatches in Montana. Currently Nora is studying how different tit species put information in their vocalizations and how this information is used and travels through forest communities.
“Singing behaviour varies across bird species, ranging from very simple calls to remarkably complex duets. A duet is a vocalisation where pair mates use temporal coordination to produce a wide array of performances. Since duetting is a complex joint display, duets are multipurpose signals with several functions. In species where males and females sing, most functional hypotheses of song have focused on the adult song repertoire, and have not directly addressed the song-learning strategy by which the bird reaches that final repertoire”.
Esme is first year PhD student at St Andrews University, born and raised in Mexico. Esme uncovered in interest in behavioural ecology in her final years of undergraduate study and her thesis focused on the effects of urban noise on the song of the vermilion flycatcher. After graduating she worked as a field assistant in several behaviour projects including the Kalahari Meerkat Project in South Africa.
03 Mar 2016 – Will Cresswell – Our birds in Africa
07 Apr 2016 – AGM & Member’s slides by Neil Black
Please contact the leader if transport is required. All meets are joint with ADBC; members are urged to car share wherever possible.
Sun 14 February 2016
Scone Palace for Hawfinch search. Meet at 10am at Quarry Mill on Perth to Scone road (Eric McCabe)
Sun 13 March 2016
Dreish/Mayer via Glen Prosen. This will be a strenous walk. Meet at 10am at Myre car park, Forfar (Alex Shepherd)
Sun 24 April 2016
Clatto Reservoir Country Park & Camperdown Park, Dundee. Meet at 10am at Clatto Park off Dundee to Muirhead Road (Mickey Mellon)
Wed 11 May 2016
Glen Lethnot. Meet at 10am at Edzell village car park (Jon Cook)
Brian Brocklehurst 01382 778348 or leader (particularly if transport is required).
About the branch
Chair and representative of the branch on SOC Council:
Angus and Dundee recorder and Technical Expert:
Perth and Kinross recorder:
Birdwatching in Tayside
Bird recording in this area
Kinross Bird Atlas
During the fieldwork for BirdAtlas 2007-11, data for the old county of Kinross has been gathered from all of its 71 tetrads. The fieldwork is almost finished but mopping up in the current 2012 breeding season will take place. Any observer birding in the region is invited to submit as many breeding season records as possible to the BirdTrack or BirdAtlas websites, ideally adding breeding status codes for every record, which can be found on the websites. All records should be at tetrad level. If anyone is unsure where the northern boundary of the old county lies (not marked on current maps), the most northerly tetrads covered are NO00D, NO00I, NO00N, NO00U, NO00Z, NO10E, NO10J & NO10P. The remainder of the boundary is the current Perth & Kinross boundary. Records from the 10km square NO00 will be particularly valuable. Any queries should be directed to Norman Elkins.
BTO Winter Thrush survey
Tayside branch members are also much involved with the Winter Thrush 2 year survey being run by the BTO – running from September 2012 to April 2013 and repeated again from September 2013 to April 2014. Visit the BTO website for more information http://www.bto.org/volunteer-surveys/winter-thrushes