SCIENCE ON TAP: Air-Traffic Control for Hangry Birds, Sam Urmy Monterey Aquarium Research Institute
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Pacific Grove, CA
Reservations:800-858-1249
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Where:Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Avenue, Santa Cruz, California, United States, 95062

* Free in the Garden

7:30 PM

One hundred miles east of New York City lies a tiny speck of land called Great Gull Island. Formerly an U.S. Army fort, it is now a research station of the American Museum of Natural History. It is also the summer home of over 20,000 common and roseate terns. These small, fish-eating seabirds fly to New York from South America each year to lay eggs and raise their chicks. This effort requires them to catch a lot of small fish--up to half a million per day for the whole colony. During his PhD at Stony Brook University, Sam Urmy (currently a postoctoral fellow at MBARI) spent two summers on Great Gull Island trying to figure out how the terns find all those fishes. Using a modified boat radar, he was able to track hundreds of birds at once as they flew around the colony. In this talk, he will present some highlights of this research--including the fascinating ecology of seabird foraging, the risks of buying scientific instruments on eBay, and what, exactly, it is like to share a small island with 20,000 angry birds.

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COVID-19 UPDATE
The safety of our guests and staff is our top priority.As an extra level of precaution, our daily hot breakfast and evening wine reception are unavailable until further notice. Guests can enjoy a complimentary grab n' go breakfast.
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