Imagine breathing in that salty seaside air and come virtual birdwatching with us when we explore the world of birds that make their homes on the coast. Travel from Louisiana’s Gulf Coast all the way up to Point Reyes National Seashore with biologists, researchers, and science writers as your guides.
• Juita Martinez, PhD student at the University of Louisiana, studies brown pelicans (which she lovingly calls #DinosaurFloofs on social media). She’ll talk about the hardships that brown pelicans face on Louisiana’s coastline by taking a look back in time at the birds’ disappearance from the coast, their incredible comeback, and what we can learn about them now. Although there are brown pelicans on the coastline today, the fight to preserve the species isn’t over.
• Matt Lau is the Point Reyes National Seashore’s snowy plover ecologist, in charge of monitoring and overseeing the park’s population. These small waders are federally listed as a threatened species, and can be found on the coastline, from southern Washington down to Baja California. Learn about their breeding biology, conservation efforts, and how you can help contribute to their recovery. Plus: adorable videos!
• Film is powerful in its ability to entertain, inform, and inspire. How can these uses be combined to advance conservation efforts focused on birds? Story researcher Dr. Irene Liu and producer Tom Swartwout from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Center for Conservation Media will take us behind the scenes of Skimming the Surface, a recent film about the use of seabirds as an indicator of plastics in the Arctic.
• Join Alvaro Jaramillo, biologist & birding guide, to learn about the California Current and the awe-inspiring seabirds—albatrosses, shearwaters, and storm-petrels among them—drawn there (sometimes from thousands of miles away) to feast on the food found just under the ocean’s surface.
All NightLife virtual programming is intended for audiences 21+.