New Tours, New Science!

We’ve got a fresh slate of dates for tours of the Moore Lab bird collection and some exciting new science to tell you about. Scroll on for links and details.

And you might not know it from the weather, but the bird migration season is upon us. The migration count at Bear Divide starts next week! If you don’t already know about this incredible site near Los Angeles where you can view hundreds of small songbirds migrating during the daylight hours, you’d best check it out. We’ll have more to say about it soon, including dates to visit the site and get a tour.

John McCormack
Director, Moore Lab of Zoology, Occidental College

New dates for tours of the bird collection

If you’ve visited before, there is always something new. And if you’ve never been, we’ve got 67,000 birds to show you. Visit our Eventbrite page and then select a free date. Act quick: they fill up fast!

Hybrid lineage or hybrid species?

We are super excited about our new paper exploring an old study system that helped spark research into the “species question” back in the 1940s. Our study involves a gradient between two species of towhees (large sparrows) that seem to seamlessly blend from one species to the other across a wide area in Mexico’s central volcanic range. We found that the transition between species isn’t so seamless: a hybrid lineage appears to be forming in center of the gradient. While there is no evidence this lineage is currently a distinct species, we think our results highlight how hybrid zones might break apart over geological time and later contribute to hybrid speciation. Give it a read and tell us what you think!