Crystal Ruiz Earns Certified Association Executive Credential

Crystal Ruiz, AOS Director of Operations and Administration, has earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation. The CAE is the highest professional credential in the association industry. To be designated as a Certified Association Executive, an applicant must have a minimum of three years experience with nonprofit organization management, complete a minimum of 100 hours …

Dirty Birds

As a teenager, in the 1960s, I spent much of my spare time during the school year hanging out at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), not far from my family’s home in Toronto.  The denizens of the bird/mammal prep room in the basement of the museum—Don Baldwin, Hisham Badran, Jim Borack and Rolph Davis—took me …

Road Proximity May Boost Songbird Nest Success in Tropics

In the world’s temperate regions, proximity to roads usually reduces the reproductive success of birds, thanks to predators that gravitate toward habitat edges. However, the factors affecting bird nest success are much less studied in the tropics—so does this pattern hold true? New research published in The Condor: Ornithological Applications shows that interactions between roads, nesting birds, …

The Nice Bird Club

When I took first-year Zoology at the University of Toronto, in the 1960s, our lab instructor/coordinator was Dr J. Murray Speirs. Speirs was a kindly gentleman with a bit of old-world charm, accentuated by his ever-present black beret. I warmed to him immediately because he was also a birder and had a reputation for encouraging …

Possible Oahu Populations Offer New Hope for Hawaiian Seabirds

The two seabird species unique to Hawaii, Newell’s Shearwaters and Hawaiian Petrels, are the focus of major conservation efforts—at risk from habitat degradation, invasive predators, and other threats, their populations plummeted 94% and 78% respectively between 1993 and 2013. However, a new study in The Condor: Ornithological Applications offers hope of previously undetected colonies of these birds …

A Very Queer Little Fish

Twenty years ago when I was writing The Red Canary—the story of how in the 1920s a bird enthusiast and a biology teacher created a red canary—I needed to include an overview of the history of canary domestication. To obtain the necessary information, I started to collect eighteenth- and nineteenth-century books on canary breeding. As …

Congratulations to This Year’s Student Membership Award Winners!

Congratulations to the 2019 recipients of AOS’s Student Membership Awards! These awards provide one year of free membership to students who have not previously been members of the society. Winners, we hope you will take advantage of the many benefits of AOS membership and consider joining us at our annual meeting in Anchorage, Alaska, this June! Fernando Lòpez, National University …

007

A couple of years ago, my family and I had an early morning stopover in Frankfurt, Germany, en route to our spring bolthole in the French Pyrenees.  As we stumbled bleary-eyed to the end of the passport and customs lines, a tall, burly passport control agent took us aside and rather gruffly asked me “Are …

Holiday Reads

When I first began to take a serious interest in the history of ornithology, about 20 years ago, there were very few books on the topic. In 1975, Stresemann’s Ornithology from Aristotle to the Present was translated into English from the original 1951 German edition. Ernst Mayr added a chapter to that to bring it more …