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George R. Carmody Lecture with Dan Strickland

January 30, 2019 at 7:00 PM

Location:608, Senate Room Robertson Hall

George R Carmody Lecture

The Triumph…. and Downfall of the Canada Jay

with Dan Strickland

retired Chief Park Naturalist at Algonquin Provincial Park

Tea & Coffee at 6:30 p.m. Reception to follow lecture.

Everyone Welcome!

Abstract:  The Canada Jay, the iconic “whiskeyjack” of the north woods, has been studied in Algonquin Park for over fifty years. Almost miraculously, this bird dispenses with migration and lives its entire life on year-round territories in the boreal and subalpine forests of North America including in every province and territory in Canada and right up to tree line from Alaska to Newfoundland. What’s more, it does so with astonishing ease, even surviving the long, cold, and apparently foodless boreal winters actually better than it does in summer. And to top off everything else it actually raises its young—again with remarkable success—in late winter, often fledgling its young while the snow is still deep in the bush, the lakes are still frozen, and most of the migratory songbirds in the boreal forest have not even returned, let alone started to nest themselves. In this year’s Carmody Lecture retired Algonquin Chief Park Naturalist, Dan Strickland, will relate how he and others have unravelled the secrets of these successes. And then, with some sadness, he will say why the ecological triumph of the Canada Jay has a fatal flaw and why our beloved whiskeyjacks are heading for serious trouble.

Speaker Biography: Since the early 1980s, Mr. Strickland has led a research program on our national bird, the Canada Jay (formerly known as the Grey Jay). The leading expert on the Canada Jay, he has made many discoveries regarding the natural history, ecology and behaviour of these birds.  The Algonquin Park Canada Jay research program, which has been active for 55 years and counting, is now one of the world’s longest-running studies of the same bird population.

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