Alum Returns for Ornithological Meeting – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Alum Returns for Ornithological Meeting

Hobart alum, Francis (Jay) J. Pitocchelli Jr. ’79, associate professor of biology at St. Anselm College, will return to campus this month to participate in the annual Wilson Ornithological Society Conference, which the Colleges are hosting, from May 20 through 23.  The four-day event will include on-campus exhibits, local birding trips, special lectures and a screening of the film, “Ghost Bird.”

The Wilson Ornithological Society brings together like-minded individuals who have a general interest in birds. Its core values lie in conservation and education efforts.  Members of the Society and guests are invited to contribute in the scientific sessions of this year’s meeting by presenting an oral paper or poster on any facet of avian biology.

Founded in 1888, The Wilson Ornithological Society is a world-wide organization composed of nearly 2,500 people who share a common interest in birds. Named after Alexander Wilson, the Father of American Ornithology, the Society publishes a quarterly ornithology journal, “The Wilson Journal of Ornithology,” as well as a bimonthly newsletter. It maintains an online directory of ornithologists, houses the Josselyn Van Tyne Memorial Library, and holds annual meetings. It is also one of six member societies in the Ornithological Societies of North America (OSNA).

Pitocchelli’s research background is in ornithology, specifically behavior, evolution and evolutionary ecology of birds. He has studied species limits in the Genus Oporornis using behavioral and morphometric analyses and has conducted research on the ecology of seabirds in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska.  His current research is on geographic and temporal variation in bird song, specifically the Mourning Warbler throughout its breeding range. In addition to his field research in the U.S., he has field experience in Russia, Canada, and Central America. Pitocchelli maintains a blog, about the Mourning Warbler.

Pitocchelli earned his B.S. in animal behavior from Hobart College in 1979, his M.S. in psychology from the Memorial College of Newfoundland, and Ph.D. in biology from City University of New York.

The photo above features HWS Associate Professor of Biology Mark Deutschlander, organizer of the conference. Deutschlander specializes in ornithology and animal orientation and navigation. He is also president of the Braddock Bay Bird Observatory in Rochester.

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