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Video and Audio: Professor Bridget Stutchbury interviewed on CBC's The National

Video and Audio: Professor Bridget Stutchbury interviewed on CBC's The National

Professor Bridget Stutchbury was interviewed on The National by CBC broadcaster Colleen Jones about the sex lives of birds May 12. Stutchbury, a Canada Research Chair in  Ecology and Conservation Biology and a professor in the Department of Biology, published The Bird Detective: Investigating the Secret Lives of Birds in April 2010. It explains how understanding birds’ behaviour will help to conserve increasingly-threatened species.

The video is available on CBC's Web site and runs for 2:20.

Stutchbury also took part in a phone-in show about local birds on CBC Radio’s “Maritime Noon” May 12 where she answered callers' questions about their backyard visitors.  The segment begins at the 4:20 mark and runs to the end of the program. The clip is available on CBC's Web site.

Her efforts to use the book to promote conservation of bird habitats was also covered on via The Canadian Press May 15:

A rapid decline in the number of songbirds across North America should serve as a wake-up call about what is being done to the environment, a Canadian biologist warned Friday.

Bridget Stutchbury, Canada Research Chair in Ecology & Conservation Biology in York’s Faculty of Science & Engineering, said a growing number of bird species will be at risk unless immediate action is taken to protect large natural areas that serve as breeding grounds.

“The facts can be shocking, and so shocking they are almost hard to believe,” Stutchbury said in Fredericton. “When you talk about biodiversity loss, very realistic forecasts are that in the next 100 years we are going to lose 10 to 15 per cent of the world’s birds in terms of species.

Stutchbury said the decline is the result of a loss of habitat due to clear-cutting and urban sprawl, not climate change. She said Canada’s boreal forest serves as a bird nursery for the continent and must be protected to, in turn, protect birds.

“Unless something radical is done in terms of setting aside protected areas for wildlife and plants, it’s all going to unravel because there are dozens of species on a straight-line trajectory to zero,” she said.

It was also covered in The Daily Gleaner, based in Fredericton, NB May 15:

Bridget Stutchbury was at Fredericton’s Conserver House on Friday to speak about the decline of the songbird population in Canada and what can be done to save them.

The York University scientist and author of Silence of the Songbirds, which was nominated for a Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction, recently authored a new book called The Bird Detective: Investigating the Secret Lives of Birds.

Stutchbury stressed the impact the drastic decline in the songbird population will have on biodiversity in the province.

Conservation Council of New Brunswick executive director David Coon and Stutchbury agreed there are simple things individuals can do to protect the environment and the birds’ habitat.

Stutchbury suggested buying local and organic products, recycled paper and shade-grown coffee. She said the issue is hitting close to home, as there are several New Brunswick songbirds on the list of declining species. “The bird decline is so widespread, it affects all Canadians, no matter where you live,” Stutchbury said. “But in the area of the Acadian Forest (in New Brunswick), we are seeing more.”

Stutchbury’s comments were also reported on radio stations in Chatham, Owen Sound, Ottawa and Belleville, Ont. and Calgary, Alta., and in Bathurst and Fredericton, NB, and Bridgewater, NS.

Last but not least, her book was reviewed, along with several others on birds, in the Montreal Gazette via the Canwest News Service May 14:

Reading these essays is almost as good as seeing the birds ourselves. The same is true of The Bird Detective, by Bridget Stutchbury. An ornithologist at York University, she has accumulated a wealth of knowledge on bird behaviour from her own research and that of other biologists, and lets us in on the secret lives of both birds and ornithologists.

Here is the rare academic who can make research accessible to the public without dumbing it down. But Stutchbury does more than that: she makes it exciting. Her description of birds’ sexual adventures, combined with Stutchbury’s ornithological adventures, propel the book forward, and made me wish I could travel along with her in the field.

Posted by Elizabeth Monier-Williams, research communications officer, with files courtesy of YFile– York University’s daily e-bulletin.