Former Smithsonian scientist to lead BTG’s first Lakefront Walk

Katie McLean | Staff Photographer
Bird migration expert John Rappole will lead the Bird, Tree & Garden Club’s first 2013 Lakefront Walk, visiting birdhouses such as this one along Chautauqua’s shoreline, beginning at 6:30 p.m. today

The first of the Bird, Tree & Garden Club Lakefront Walks, presented in cooperation with the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy, will be held at 6:30 p.m. today. Meet at the covered porch at the Heinz Fitness Center, located at the corner of South Lake Drive and South Avenue.

John Rappole, scientist emeritus at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, will present ”Breeding Birds and Migration on Chautauqua Lake.”

“Anything we see we can talk about,” Rappole said.

Rappole will tie into his discussion some of the information from his book, The Avian Migrant, recently published by Columbia University Press. He will talk about the life cycle of migrating birds and how climate changes have affected them. Rappole conducts research on the ecology and evolution of migration, avian diversity in South Asia, bird-mediated movement of viruses and the effects of climate change on bird populations.

Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions about the birds. Binoculars are suggested but not mandatory. A portable sound system is used for amplification during the Lakefront Walks.