Mark Deutschlander, assistant professor of biology, has been elected to a three-year term as president of the Braddock Bay Bird Observatory, a non-profit organization dedicated to ornithological research, education and conservation. The observatory conducts research to monitor migratory birds on the south shore of Lake Ontario (just northwest of Rochester, N.Y.).
Braddock Bay is listed as one of Audubon Society’s Important Bird Areas. This area is a focal point of bird activity, especially during spring and fall migration when it is possible to see over 130 species of songbirds and large numbers of migrating raptors. Much of the data collected at the observatory is submitted to the Bird Banding Laboratory, part of the U.S. Geological Survey, for national use.
Vital statistics of migratory birds are monitored to help scientists better understand the ecology and behavior of migratory birds. In addition, the observatory leads educational programs for children, training programs and certification tests for young scientists, and is involved in habitat protection and management. Recently, in partnership with the Genesee Land Trust, the observatory acquired five acres of bay side property to be protected as migratory bird habitat. This spring the observatory will host the annual meeting of the Eastern Bird Banding Association.
Deutschlander has served as vice president and as a scientific adviser to the observatory for the past three years. In addition to working on fund-raising and programming for the observatory, Deutschlander conducts his own scientific research at the observatory. He studies the sensory cues that birds use to navigate and has begun a study on ultraviolet reflectance of bird plumage. Up to two summer internships are available to HWS students to work at the observatory during the May and June of 2005.
Deutschlander joined the Colleges faculty in 2002. He holds a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Geneseo and a doctoral degree from the University of Indiana.
For more information about the Braddock Bay Bird Observatory or to see photos of some of the birds monitored at the observatory, see their Web site www.bbbo.org.