February 14, 2023
The Galapagos archipelago holds a special fascination for birders, naturalists, and biologists worldwide, in a large part due to the endemic Darwin’s finches and how they shaped Charles Darwin’s perception of evolution. The mockingbirds of the same islands are less famous but similarly influenced Darwin’s thinking. Over 30 bird species, as well as the famous tortoises, Marine Iguana, and much more are found nowhere else on Earth. Professor John Kricher will fill us in on the finches, mockingbirds, and other endemic species of the Galapagos.
Dr. John Kricher is professor emeritus of biology at Wheaton College, where he taught ecology, ornithology, and vertebrate evolution for forty-eight years. He is a fellow of the American Ornithologists Union, a former board member of the American Birding Association, and past president of the Association of Field Ornithologists, the Wilson Ornithological Society, and the Nuttall Ornithological Club. He is the recipient of the esteemed Alexander F. Skutch Medal from the Association of Field Ornithologists. Among his various books, John authored A Neotropical Companion and its 2017 revision The New Neotropical Companion; Tropical Ecology, now the leading textbook on global tropical ecology; and and Peterson Reference Guide to Bird Behavior (2020). Last year he and Kevin Loughlin of Wildside Nature Tours published an update of John’s previous book Galapagos: A Natural History; the revision is extensive, including taxonomy of several endemic birds which had changed since the original 2002 publication. The book goes far beyond the birds to cover the islands’ history, geology, ecology, marine as well as terrestrial natural history, plus tips for visitors and hundreds of lavish photos.