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Aiken Monthly Meeting February 2024 | High Altitude Finches

February 21 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Rosy & Redpoll Finches are a great topic for our February monthly meeting as they blend in well with Valentine hearts…and they don’t mind the snow.

Join us this month for an in-depth presentation on The role of plumage coloration and local adaptation in the differentiation of high elevation and high latitude finches. Variation in color and pattern make birds among the most colorful of all vertebrate animals. Plumage color can be an important clue for species recognizing potential mates, and differences in color might act as a barrier to reproduction. Our presenter Erik Funk will share some of his recent work investigating how differences in coloration contribute to genetic differences in rosy-finches (Leucosticte spp.) and redpoll finches (Acanthis spp.). Erik will describe some specific genes that appear to control plumage color differences and local adaptation, and the ways in which these traits have influenced the evolution of these two bird groups.

Erik was born and raised in San Diego, CA where he was introduced early to the birds of the chaparral and coastal sage scrub. Erik began research on birds as an undergraduate at San Diego State University, continuing on to get his masters degree studying the genetic relationships and evolution of the neotropical tanagers. In 2017 he moved to Colorado where he began a PhD program with Dr. Scott Taylor studying divergence and speciation at the University of Colorado Boulder. Since finishing his degree in 2022, Erik has worked as a National Science Foundation postdoctoral research fellow studying conservation genomics at the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance.

Our February meeting is also time for our annual Death by Chocolate potluck. Please bring your favorite chocolate treat to share; cupcakes, cookies, candies, etc.

This will be an in-person meeting (and broadcast on Zoom) held at the Colorado Parks & Wildlife Office located at 4255 Sinton Road 80907. The classroom entrance is on the back (east side) of the building. The main door will be locked.

Death by Chocolate Potluck & Bird Talk (meet & mingle) 6:30pm
Meeting announcements 7:00pm
Program Presentation 7:15pm

Image credit: Chris Vest & American Bird Conservancy
Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 885 1582 4737
Passcode: 187448




February 21
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm


Tally Kerr


Colorado Parks and Wildlife Office
4255 Sinton Rd
Colorado Springs, 80907
+ Google Map

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