I was thrilled to be able to attend and present at the International Ornithological Congress in Vancouver, BC at the end of August. This is a conference that had been circled on my calendar ever since it was first announced a few years ago. It had two key ingredients: first, it was one of the largest ornithological conferences to ever be held, and second, it was in my hometown. Birds and home-cooked meals – what’s not to like?
I delivered not one, but two oral presentations at the conference.
On the first day, I presented a 5-minute lightning talk called “Sound localization as a tool for understanding bird behaviour and ecology”. This was a short summary of how I have been using sound localization in my research, and how I think it can be used going forward. I found a short lightning talk to be a great way to get my “sea legs” under me, which I think helped me improve my longer talk later in the conference.
A few days later, I delivered my main talk, entitled “Monitoring responses of songbirds to anthropogenic habitat disturbances using sound localization”. In this talk, I summarized my research using sound localization to examine the movements of Red-eyed Vireos whose territories have been bisected by seismic lines – long narrow strips taken out of the forest for oil exploration. Results were still preliminary (more data is coming in as we speak), but it seems like the vireos avoided the seismic lines. If so, seismic lines may represent a major and underappreciated form of habitat degradation in the Boreal forest.