Weeknights at the Wagner is a 5-part evening lecture series held at the Wagner Free Institute of Science.
“pOrnithology: The Birds and the Birds and the Bees”
An illustrated presentation by George Armistead, American Birding Association
Wednesday February 13, 2013, 5:30pm to 7:00pm
Admission is free, $8-$10 suggested donation
Looking for something interesting to do with your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day? On Wednesday, February 13, 2013 from 5:30 to 7:00 PM, The Wagner Free Institute of Science will present pOrnithology: The Birds and the Birds and the Bees, by George Armistead of the American Birding Association. The earth is home to millions of different species with a mind-boggling amount of variation and diversity, and yet, they are all united by a common goal: to pass on their genes. The drive to find a mate and reproduce has resulted in some very strange behaviors and courtship rituals. With the approach of Valentine’s Day, it is clear that humans are no exception. Not only is this illustrated presentation free, it may provide some courtship rituals worth borrowing from another species.
George Armistead will review the interesting reproductive strategies and associated unusual behaviors of birds looking for a mate–essentially, what bird foreplay looks like! Complex birdsong, displays of feathers, building intricate nests, strange movements, and dare-devil flights can all be tactics to attract a female. Natural selection drives these behaviors and sexual dimorphism within bird species while also shaping the tremendous diversity in appearance, song, and behavior between species. George will highlight some of the more interesting courtship rituals, all with copious innuendo and anthropomorphism to keep the concepts in perspective.
George Armistead has guided birding tours on all seven continents while working as a Field Guides Leader. Currently, he is the Events Coordinator for the American Birding Association. He is also a Research Associate at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. When not working on bird book projects, he spends his free time observing and photographing birds at his favorite haunts along the coast between Cape May, NJ, and Cape Hatteras, NC.