New Perspectives on the Evolution and Behavior of the Nightingale-Thrushes (Turdidae: Catharus)


February 15, 2018    
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm


Academy of Natural Sciences
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy,, Philadelphia, PA, 19103

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Matthew Halley, editor of the DVOC’s Cassinia publication, has been studying the behavior and evolution of nightingale-thrushes (genus Catharus) since 2011, and they are now the focus of his PhD dissertation at Drexel University and the Academy of Natural Sciences. Catharus is best known for its champion migrants — Swainson’s Thrush, Gray-cheeked Thrush, and the Veery — but the greatest diversity in the genus actually lives in the Neotropics year-round, where they remain poorly known to scientists and birders alike. Matthew’s research challenges many aspects of our understanding, including how many species of nightingale-thrushes there are, how and why they behave the way they do, and how they achieved their current distributions.