Sunday, January 19, 2014

Steller Jay Communication and Research

You may have seen me lurking in your neighbors yard or driving up and down Hwy 20 in a Jeep with Montana plates. I'm not lost. I am a visiting PhD student from the University of Montana and I am here to study the Steller's jays of the Methow Valley

My research is focused on how animals communicate about danger and predators and a part of this is trying to figure out how Steller's jays combine two alarm calls and mimicry to encode information about predators.

I use a variety of playbacks to elicit different calls and behaviors at different bird feeders throughout the valley. The research is going well, although because of the mild winter the birds are less dependent on feeders and therefore a little more difficult to work with. However, the people, views and copious amounts of bakeries have eased that frustration. If you see me out and about, feel free to stop me and ask questions and I hope to see most of you at the talk summing up my research here on January 23rd.

Thanks for all of your help and support! 

Community Soup and Presentation:  
January 23, 2014.  Steller's Jay Communication by Alexis Billings, University of Montana PhD student - presentation at the North Cascades Basecamp in Mazama. 5:30pm soup dinner, 6:00pm presentation.  8$/person (bring a friend- $10 for 2).