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Bird conference lands at University of East Anglia

University of East Anglia

The world of birds - from courtship displays to the impact of climate change, pesticides and aeroplanes - will come under the spotlight at an international ornithology conference at the University of East Anglia this week.

More than 350 ornithology experts from around the world will gather for the ninth Conference of the European Ornithologists' Union.

Topics include the effects of forest management on woodpeckers, how Kestrels are experiencing the cost of city living, the battle for airspace between birds and aircraft in an increasingly crowded sky, and how birds can be saved from colliding into windows by understanding how they see.

Another issue high on the agenda will be the impact of climate change on bird populations and migration patterns. Speakers will discuss how conservation projects may need to adapt as the world gets warmer.

The five-day event kicks off today with a keynote speech from Tim Birkhead on the history of ornithology since Darwin.

Other highlights include a lecture from bird behaviour specialist Leo Fusani, from the University of Ferrara, Italy, about the evolutionary and physiological mechanisms of elaborate courtship displays.

Meanwhile Dr Jenny Gill from UEA's school of Biological Sciences will talk about the causes of changes in migratory bird populations and their implications for conservation.

She said: "We are absolutely delighted to be hosting this international conference. A great deal of research at UEA concerns the ecology and conservation of birds, and we are very pleased to be welcoming ornithologists from around the world to our university."

Prof Tomasz Wesołowski, president of the European Ornithologists' Union, said: "This is the first time that the EOU will meet in the UK, a country with top-class academic ornithology, very strong citizen involvement in science and enormous public interest in birds. This creates an ideal atmosphere for our delegates to discuss the latest achievements in ornithological science, and their application to mounting environmental problems."


The conference takes place from Tuesday, August 27 until Saturday, 31. It is co-organised by the British Ornithologists' Union, the British Trust for Ornithology, the RSPB, the Edward Grey Institute and UEA. The conference can be followed on twitter using #EOU2013UK

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