“The Secret Perfume of Birds” Lecture with Danielle Whittaker
**Events may have been canceled or postponed. Please contact the venue to confirm the event.
Date & Time
Wed, Nov 09 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
PO Box 794, Los Olivos, CA 93441
THE SECRET PERFUME OF BIRDS
Uncovering the Science of Avian Scent
Free Zoom lecture with Danielle Whittaker Wednesday, November 9, 2022 at 7 PM.
Join Danielle Whittaker as she discusses her new book, The Secret Perfume of Birds: Uncovering the Science of Avian Scent. As an evolutionary biologist, Whittaker was puzzled by the lack of evidence for the peculiar but widespread belief that birds have no sense of smell. Exploring the science behind the myth led her on an unexpected quest investigating mysteries from how juncos win a fight to why cowbirds smell like cookies. Whittaker will share emerging research about birds’ ability to produce complex chemical signals that influence their behavior, including where they build nests, when they pick a fight, and why they fly away. Mate choice, or sexual selection—a still enigmatic aspect of many animals’ lives—appears to be particularly influenced by smell. Whittaker’s pioneering studies suggest that birds’ sexy (and scary) signals are produced by symbiotic bacteria that manufacture scents in the oil that birds stroke on their feathers when preening. Whittaker also examines the smelly chemicals of a variety of creatures, from iguanas and bees to monkeys and humans and will describe how scent is important not just for birds but for all animals, including humans.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Danielle J. Whittaker is an evolutionary biologist and the managing director of the Center for Oldest Ice Exploration (COLDEX) at Oregon State University. From gibbons in Indonesia to the dark-eyed juncos of North America, her research focuses on the forces that influence animal behavior, mate selection, and, ultimately, evolution. Register in advance for this webinar on the link on SYVNHS website www.syvnature.org.