The New Canary in the Coal Mine: Bird Collections

March 15, 2022 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Location To Be Determined
The New Canary in the Coal Mine: Bird Collections @ Location To Be Determined

In the 1960s, birds’ eggs in multiple museum collections were famously used to link declining raptor populations to the use of the pesticide DDT, based on patterns of eggshell thinning over time. Since then, bird collections have been used to illuminate issues ranging from overall bird health to the shifting of egg-laying dates in Midwestern birds, mercury accumulation in Ivory Gulls, air pollution in the Rust Belt, and differences in genetic bird structure that denote unique bird populations. John Bates, Curator of Birds at the Field Museum, will discuss how bird specimens are helping document change in ways the original collectors never imagined to help protect current and future populations.