June 03, 2021    
7:00 pm

Event Type

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Brief Description:
Decades of research on Neotropical lowland forest birds that follow army ant raids for food–mostly species of antbirds (Thamnophilidae)–have demonstrated an impressive array of bird behavioral adaptations for exploiting this rich but challenging food source. But army ants are not restricted to the lowlands, leading me to explore whether similar avian strategies of army ant exploitation are followed in montane forests. I will review evidence that a surprising array of high-elevation birds, from nightingale thrushes to toucanets, and even a few wintering boreal migrants, show the stamp of army ants on their lifestyles.
Brief biography:
Sean O’Donnell is a Professor in Drexel’s Biodiversity Earth & Environmental Science Department. He has been a university teacher and researcher for 25 years. He studies animal behavior, neurobiology and tropical ecology in Central and South America, and recently in Israel. His passion for birds found a professional outlet via research on army ant behavior and ecology, mainly in the cloud forests of Costa Rica.