Bird Love: The Family Life of Birds

Birds around the world have an extraordinary range of mating systems. Some species, such as the wattled jacana, rely on males to do all the childcare, while others, such as cuckoos and honeyguides, dump their eggs in the nests of others to raise. For some birds, reciprocal promiscuity pays off: both male and female dunnocks will rear the most chicks by mating with as many partners as possible. For others, long-term monogamy is the only way to ensure their offspring survive. Many male birds employ elaborate tactics to show how sexy they are; they dance, pose, or parade to sell their suitability as a mate. Other birds attract a partner with their building skills: female bowerbirds rate brains above beauty, so males construct elaborate bowers with twig avenues and cleared courtyards to impress them. There is a wide variety of ways birds make sure they find a mate in the first place, and even more ways birds raise and care for their families.

At this Science on Tap we’ll hear from biologist, author, and environmental advocate Dr. Wenfei Tong as she explores all the stages of bird family life, from courtship and nest-building to protecting eggs and raising chicks. She will go through some of the stories included in her book Bird Love and will share some of her stunning photography. Join us for a celebration of the global diversity of avian reproductive strategies.

Watch a video of Dr. Tong’s presentation on her other book Understanding Bird Behavior: A Guide to What Birds Do & Why at Science on Tap in September, 2020.

Buy both Bird Love and/or Understanding Bird Behavior directly from Princeton Press and get 30% off!
Use Coupon Code: WTONG
Offer good until April 30, 2021

  • Event Date

    Wednesday, March 10, 2021

  • Start Time

    7:00 pm Pacific

  • End Time

    8:30 pm Pacific

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