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SE The Evolution of Parental Care in Birds

Animals that provide parental care greatly increase the likelihood that their offspring will survive to adulthood. Birds are well known for their parental care and in many species both members of a mated pair will share the parental duties of feeding, brooding, or defending the young from predators. However, providing parental care is not cheap! It takes time and energy to raise offspring and this means there are fewer resources available for other activities such as self-maintenance, defending territories from competitors, or producing a greater number of offspring. This conflict between the needs of the offspring and the impacts on the caregivers has helped shape the mating systems of birds and has resulted in some fascinating alternative reproductive strategies.

Speaker: Dr. Dorothy Hill an Associate Professor and the current Chair of the Biology Department at Mount Royal University.

Bio: Dorothy Hill was introduced to birds by her godmother, Dorothy Hazlett, during some memorable very cold Calgary Christmas Bird Counts. This early exposure caused her to veer away from a sensible career choice and instead study Zoology at U.B.C. Her summers spent working for Canadian Wildlife Service, and later as a field assistant on several university research projects, induced her to pursue graduate studies, first at University of Manitoba (MSc) and then University of Calgary (PhD). In addition to birds, Dorothy is also passionate about teaching and very honoured to have the opportunity to work at teaching-focused institution, Mount Royal University.

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