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Lilac-breasted roller (Coracias caudata) Photo by Tui De Roy

Lilac-breasted roller (Coracias caudata) Photo by Tui De Roy

Live Chat with Mpala Bird Experts!

All year round, viewers on Explore.org are treated to sights and sounds of at least 300 bird species on Mpala the home of African Wildlife. It may be the sights and sounds of the hornbill, defined by a long-curved, often brightly coloured bill or a chorus of the noisy turaco running through tree canopies mixed with the singing White-browed Sparrow-Weaver. A special treat is not uncommon and at the end of March, viewers witnessed a unique event; a mating African fish eagle couple.

This April, there is excitement as bird researchers put their heads together in a live chat broadcast on Explore.org. This Tuesday, April 3rd,11 am PST (9 pm EAT), resident bird researchers and a team from Cornel Lab of Ornithology are joining forces to celebrate the “Year of the Bird”.
A panel of five researchers drawn from various institutions will discuss their love for birds, research and hopefully answer many viewers’ questions. David Bonter of Cornell Lab of Ornithology at Cornell University will be present to lead the conversation. To spark your interest, check out videos about the weaver birds and other avian research .

David holds a Guillemot chick

David holds a Guillemot chick

David is an avian ecologist and Director of Citizen Science at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology; his work focuses on engaging the public in scientific research.
The panel made up of resident researchers at Mpala includes;

Shailee Shah, Ph. D Candidate, Columbia University.  Shailee Shah studies the evolution of cooperative breeding in Superb Starlings

Shailee Shah, Ph. D Candidate, Columbia University. Shailee Shah studies the evolution of cooperative breeding in Superb Starlings

Dr. Shana Caro, Postdoctoral Researcher, Columbia University.  Shana Caro researches how baby birds talk to their parents, and how their parents respond.

Dr Shana Caro, Postdoctoral Researcher, Columbia University.
Shana Caro researches how baby birds talk to their parents, and how their parents respond.

Stephanie Wheeler, Ph. D Candidate, University of Florida Stephanie Wheeler studies weaver birds to understand how anthropogenic spaces affect their breeding success and behaviours. Here's a short film about Stephanie:

Stephanie Wheeler, Ph. D Candidate, University of Florida
Stephanie Wheeler studies weaver birds to understand how anthropogenic spaces affect their breeding success and behaviours.

Danai Papageorgiou, Ph. D Candidate, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology Danai Papageorgiou tracks the group movement and behaviour of Vulturine Guineafowl.

Danai Papageorgiou, Ph. D Candidate, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology
Danai Papageorgiou tracks the group movement and behaviour of Vulturine Guineafowl.

 

Please post your questions below and tune into the Live Chat with our resident birders.

 

Peace,

Victor Kasii @mpalalive

  • Claire

    With so many options to choose from, how did these researchers choose their study species?

  • BirdLover1

    Are bird vocalizations always for communication, per se? Or are they sometimes singing…just to sing?

  • Mwangi J

    I have a lot of questions about how group living works for “bird brains”…. for example, how do social bird species avoid incest? do they ever have “disagreements” that split a group? Do the birds you study fight over resources like food, or do they share?

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