September 2022 Monthly Presentation: “No Birdbrains Here: The Latest on Bird Learning, Instinct, and Intelligence”

September 26, 2022 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
People's Church
1758 North 10th Street
Dave Lemberg
Birds can learn from consequences, as we and many other species can: Baby chicks learn to peck accurately, wild mockingbirds learn to recognize individual people, and pigeons learned to categorize art and music. Even instinctive behaviors like imprinting can be more flexible than scientists used to think, and songbird song appears particularly malleable. This talk will explore bird learning and intelligence, from everyday foraging, to learning through observing, to tool use. Such adaptability may be critical as wild birds attempt to adjust to the many threats they face. Scientists also take advantage of this powerful learning ability to help save endangered species.

A behavioral and biopsychologist, Dr. Schneider is an expert on learning principles and nature-nurture relations, with many academic publications. She’s also an avid birder, field trip leader, and environmental activist. A Past President of two Audubon chapters (WV and CA), and newly on the board of ASK, she is currently focused on applying learning principles to the climate crisis. Her award-winning book for the public, The Science of Consequences: How They Affect Genes, Change the Brain, and Impact our World, was a selection of the Scientific American Book Club, and led to a three-year international book tour. Schneider is a retired college professor who recently moved to the state, is affiliated with Western Michigan University, and serves on the Coordinating Committee for the Kalamazoo Climate Crisis Coalition.

We hope you’ll join us on Monday, September 26, at People’s Church, 1758 North 10th Street, Kalamazoo. Social time will begin early for this meeting only. We will meet in the People’s Church main front parking lot, weather permitting, and enjoy cookies and birding on the grounds beginning at 6:30 PM. Be sure to bring your binoculars! The regular meeting will begin inside at 7:30 PM. Beverages will not be provided. Masks are required indoors. If weather is questionable, please check for an email from ASK regarding outdoor social hour.

We will have a simultaneous Zoom link to the meeting for those who can’t make it or feel uncomfortable as yet to attend in person. This link will be emailed shortly before the meeting. We will also be recording the meeting for later viewing.

Guests and the general public are encouraged to attend. Handicap parking and access is at either the front or rear entrance of the building.