For centuries ornithological research has relied on the study of specimens to reveal the ecology, life histories and evolution of birds. Today we can also collect a new type of specimen, the “media specimen”: an audio or video recording of a bird in nature. These recordings capture key aspects of wild bird behavior in ways that traditional physical specimens simply cannot. Drawing from his own work in Australia and North America as well as that of other Cornell scientists and students, Dr. Webster will show how media specimens are advancing modern-day research aimed at understanding and conserving birds and how inexpensive new technologies are allowing everyday “citizen scientists” to collect and use media specimens. Efforts such as these are allowing for broader participation in ornithological science, leading to a better understanding of birds at continental and even global scales, and fostering a deeper appreciation of the natural world.
Following Dr. Webster’s talk, please join us for a reception in the Mann Gallery, in celebration of the new exhibit: “Around the World and Back: Building Cornell's Nature Collections Through Exploration.”
Dept. of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology/Macaulay Library of Sound, Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Free and open to the public
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