Changes in bird breeding habits on the Channel Islands

You might see an Island Scrub-Jay on Santa Cruz.
You might see an Island Scrub-Jay on Santa Cruz.

Paul Collins, Curator of Vertebrate Zoology at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History (SBMNH), will describe the effects that conservation efforts on the Channel Islands have had on breeding bird populations, during the September From Shore to Sea Lecture.

Collins will describe how, over the past 150 years, the type and behavior of breeding bird populations on the Channel Islands has changed significantly, influenced by a wide variety of factors.

Most recently, many bird species have benefited from the removal of non-native herbivores, rats, and cats on the islands, resulting in new breeding records and first time breeding records, as the species’ native habitats are restored.

Collins’ research has found not only the addition of 26 species of birds that are believed to be nesting for the first time on the islands, but also almost 150 island-specific changes in the breeding distribution and status of birds nesting on the Channel Islands.

Collins has been employed at the SBMNH for the past 43 years, where he has conducted research on a wide array of species on the Channel Islands.

The talk will be held on Thursday,September 8. The From Shore to Sea lecture series is sponsored by Channel Islands National Park to further the understanding of current research on the Channel Islands.

The lecture will take place at 7:00 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month, January through December, at the Channel Islands National Park Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center, 1901 Spinnaker Drive in Ventura Harbor.

The programs are free and open to the public. This lecture can also be viewed live online at: http://www.nps.gov/chis/planyourvisit/live-programs.htm.

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