Our meeting this month will be held on Tuesday, August 13, at 6:00 PM, in the Hoffman Room of the San Diego Foundation Building, 2508 Historic Decatur Rd. NOTE THAT THIS IS A WEEK EARLIER THAN USUAL because of room availability.
Our program this month features Susan Farabaugh, Ph.D., Associate Director, Recovery Ecology, San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research. She will present “Of Aga and ‘Alalā—Conserving Endangered Corvids on Pacific Islands”. San Diego Zoo Global’s Hawaiian Endangered Bird Conservation Program (HEBCP) has been active in conservation breeding of critically endangered Hawaiian birds since the mid-1990’s.
Susan Farabaugh grew up in Southern California and was first introduced to the fascination of birds at Occidental College under Dr. Luis Baptista. She obtained her PhD from the University of Maryland College Park studying dueting behavior of tropical Thryothorus wrens in Panama and Venezuela. As a postdoc, she worked on song sharing in group-living Australian Magpies in New Zealand and Australia. It is worth noting that on the way to New Zealand, she stopped in Hawaii to visit a friend who had recently been hired to manage the small breeding colony of ‘Alala, then located at Pohakuloa on the slopes of Mauna Kea. While analyzing magpie song back in Maryland, she became involved in research of perception and neurobiology of vocal learning in birds. This led to a postdoc on neural control of learned vocalization in parrots and songbirds at Auckland University in New Zealand. On her return to the USA in 1997, she took what she thought was a short-term job with the San Diego Zoo assisting the HEBCP with behavioral monitoring of breeding of ‘Alala. This proved to be a major change of direction, and she joined the permanent effort of conservation breeding of the San Clemente Loggerhead Shrike in 1999 and has been managing the shrike program since 2006. In 2015, she became an Associate Director and now manages both shrikes and the HEBCP.
Next month’s meeting is on Tuesday, September 17. Charlene Glacy will tell us what it is like to count albatrosses on Midway Island.
SDFO Membership Chair