BCR 197: Wenfei Tong Ph.D., Bird Love


Wenfei is a biologist with a passion for understanding and conserving the natural world. She has been a keen birder since the age of 12, and has gone on to share her love of birds through her paintings, photography, research, teaching, nature guiding and writing. Wenfei has just moved to New York City from Alaska, where she was a professor in the biology department, and where she wrote most of her first book, Bird Love, The Family Life Of Birds. She spends part of her summers in Montana, where she guides birding and nature tours on horseback.

Show Notes:

  • Many of us were lucky enough to have mentors at key points in our life.
  • Your latest book celebrates bird reproduction.
  • Birds are essentially living dinosaurs and most bird reproductive strategies have seen eons of evolution.
  • Dunocks and what they show us about the cooperation and conflict within a couple.
  • Flashy courtship displays and the Red Queen hypothesis.
  • Leks, what are they, and why do they exist?
  • Bird eggs, vary in size, design and the many uses of eggs shell colors.
  • Why does an adult Gentoo Penguin run away from its chick when it’s feeding time?
  • Cuckoos and Cowbirds.
  • You describe an evolutionary arms race by those birds in parasitic relationships.

Mentioned In Episode:

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  1. Bird Love – The Well-read Naturalist on April 20, 2020 at 7:48 pm

    Tong also sat down; virtually, of course; with Mardi Dickinson to discuss Bird Love for the Bird Calls Radio here.https://bit.ly/2KnitnR

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