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Meeting Program – Cowbirds: villainous mobsters or falsely maligned native species? A biologist’s perspective. By Sarah Winnicki
September 15 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pmFree
Brown-headed Cowbirds are notorious for their breeding system called “brood parasitism”– they lay their eggs in the nests of hundreds of other bird species, forcing those birds to feed their ravenous young. They’ve been painted as dastardly villains, but what are they really? In this program, I’ll walk through the biology of cowbirds, paying close attention to the ways they interact with their host species in Kansas and the current state of cowbird biology research.
Sarah Winnicki is a PhD student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a former Master’s student at Kansas State University. Their MS project, affectionately known as project Prairie Babies, assessed the impact of Brown-headed Cowbird presence on the growth of grassland bird species. Now they study the hormones invested into bird eggs and the impacts those hormones have on growth and development. When not researching, Sarah is an avid birder, bird photographer, and science communicator. You can follow Sarah’s exploits on Twitter (@skwinnicki) or through their website (www.sarahwinnicki.com).
This program will be ONLINE only. You can watch it live-streaming on our Facebook page, (www.facebook.com/WichitaAudubonSociety), or on our YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBzA8JCBgw-5aUHVW1lM7jw).