BIRD STUDY ASSOCIATION (ABSA) SCIENTIFIC DAY 2007
This year the
Australian Bird Study Association's Scientific Day will be held on March
10th in Forbes, NSW. The program for the day includes several speakers*
presenting topics on the theme of cooperative-breeding birds in Australia, and
a few additional talks on other interesting topics.
Cooperative-breeding systems in birds have
generated considerable interest and research over the past four decades. Much
of this has been driven by the apparent paradox of individuals foregoing their
own reproduction to assist that of others. Dean Portelli, currently
undertaking a PhD on the cooperative-breeding behaviour of Hall’s Babbler
(Pomatostomus halli) will give an
introductory presentation on the diversity of cooperative-breeding systems and
the theories proposed to explain their evolution.
Caroline Blackmore has
recently undertaken a PhD study on grey-crowned babblers (Pomatostomus temporalis), a well-known
Australian cooperative-breeder of Australia’s temperate and
tropical woodlands. More specifically, Caroline’s research focussed on
the interaction between cooperative-breeding and the impact of habitat
fragmentation on persistence in this near-threatened species.
Rachel Sims’ PhD
research was centred on the cooperative-breeding behaviour of the Dusky
Woodswallow (Artamus cyanopterus).
Like other woodswallows this species is highly mobile, a characteristic not
seen in the majority of cooperative-breeders. Rachel’s research examined
the cooperative-breeding behaviour and social organisation of this
Iain Woxvold carried
out a PhD on one of the most social of Australian birds, the
cooperatively-breeding Apostlebird (Struthidea
cinerea). Unlike the Apostlebird the cooperative-breeding behaviour
of the closely-related White-winged Chough (Corcorax
melanorhamphos) has been well-studied. Iain will discuss
‘society and politics’ in both these very intriguing
Given the 2007 ABSA
Scientific Day will be held in Forbes we have two additional speakers that will
give presentations on topics relevant to this part of Australia.
John Rawsthorne is
currently undertaking research on the ecology of mistletoes and dispersal of
mistletoe seeds by birds. Some of this research is being conducted in Forbes.
John will give a presentation on the preliminary results of his very
interesting research project.
Alex Drew has
been intimately involved in a long-term monitoring project concerned with the
colonisation and persistence of birds in revegetated patches in the Upper
Billabong Creek Catchment, near the town of Holbrook north of Albury. Alex will give a
presentation on the progress and results of this project which is particularly
relevant to areas where extensive clearing of eucalypt woodlands has taken
place and revegetation programs are underway.
Finally, David Drynan of the
Australian Bird and Bat Banding Scheme (ABBBS) will give a presentation on a
new and improved method of submitting banding data to the banding office and
also conduct a ‘Question and Answer’ session. This is a great
opportunity to ask questions about bird banding in Australia and the ABBBS.
*Please note: this is a tentative list of
speakers and is subject to change prior to the Scientific Day to be held March
For more details on the
event and to register to attend please contact Dean Portelli at .
Please feel free to send this email to anyone who may be interested in
attending this event.
Australian Bird Study