May COG meeting

To: <>
Subject: May COG meeting
From: "Jack and Andrea Holland" <>
Date: Sun, 10 May 2009 20:12:15 +1000
Hello subscribers,
A reminder of the COG meeting this Wednesday 13 May, starting at 7:30 pm.  Details, including those for which there was insufficient space in the Gang-gang, are below.
Also Victoria Bennett will be introducing herself and her Ph D project of returning the Brown Treecreeper to Mulligans/Goorooyaroo as a prelude to a short presentation later this year.
Jack Holland

Details for the May meeting


The short presentation will be by Dan Mantle on ?Seabirding from Sonne-rise to Sonne-set?.  This will be a brief report of the seabirds observed (Bosunbirds, Boobies, Frigatebirds, Petrels, and Shearwater) aboard the RV Sonne as part of Geoscience Australia's 2008 marine surveys off WA.


The main presentation will be by Anastasia Dalziell on ?Making a song and dance about it: mimicry and complexity in the display of the Superb Lyrebird.?


The elaborate vocal displays of birds have intrigued and delighted people worldwide, with bird songs finding their way into our poems, our philosophical texts and our music.  A key focus is the ability of birds to reproduce complex sounds with precision and nowhere is this skill more highlighted than in avian mimicry.  Many birds supplement their own unique species vocalisations with imitations of other birds, other animals and even sounds of human origin such as speech or mechanical noise.  When considered from the bird?s perspective, this behaviour is puzzling for several reasons: why should birds produce deliberately confusing signals?  Who is the mimic trying to communicate with and what information is conveyed by the imitation?  And why should some species mimic and others stick to their own original song?  Anastasia will address these and related questions in the song of the world?s most celebrated mimic: the Superb Lyrebird.


Anastasia is a PhD student at BoZo at the Australian National University.  She has worked on the vocal displays of superb fairy-wrens, purple-crowned fairy-wrens, white-browed scrubwrens, the Central American banded wren and humans.


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