Public Programs

Programs are held on the third Monday of each month

Programs are held at Stainton Hall auditorium at the Pennington School on the 3rd Monday of each month, from September to May. Time: Refreshments served at 7:30 pm; program begins at 8:00 pm. We strive to feature engaging speakers and interesting topics for our lecture series. If you have any recommendations for topics or speakers for one of these programs, please visit our contact page and let us know. All our programs are free and don’t require advance registration!

Stainton Hall, Pennington School
112 West Delaware Avenue
Pennington, New Jersey 08534

Recent Speakers

  • Professor David Wilcove: Conserving Asia’s Vanishing Birds
  • Jacob B. Socolar: The Impact of Habitat Loss on Avian Biodiversity from the Amazon to the Eastern US.
  • January 16Juanita Hummel: Birds of Cuba
  • February 20 | George Gregory: The Cerulean Warbler, a Migrant in Decline

Upcoming Speakers

  • March 20 | Rick Wright: Preface to the Spring Sparrow Migration
  • April 17 | Jeffery Hall:  Birds of Northwest PA
  • May 15 | Frank Gill: Bird Species Taxonomy 2017

May 15: Frank Gill: How many bird species?

Major changes in bird taxonomy are being driven by the application of evolving species concepts and robust DNA-based phylogenies.  The higher classification and sequences of major bird groups will require adjustments and the number of species recognized on major world lists will increase dramatically. This talk will peek at 250 years of bird taxonomy and the revolution that is underway.

Frank is author of text “Ornithology”, co-founder of eBird, and co-editor of the IOC World Bird List.  He headed ornithology at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia 1969-1996, followed by leadership roles at the National Audubon Society. Now based in Stockton NJ, Frank and his wife Sally are eager world birders.

Expanding upon above from Wikipedia:

“More recently, Gill was the president of the American Ornithologists’ Union from 1998-2000. Besides his acclaimed textbook, Gill’s published works include over 150 scientific and popular articles. His worldwide research programs included field studies of island birds, hybridization by blue-winged and golden-winged warblers, flower-feeding strategies of sunbirds of Africa and of hermit hummingbirds of Middle America, and phylogeny through DNA of the chickadees of the world. For his contributions to ornithology, Gill was recognized with the William Brewster Award, the highest honor bestowed by the AOU.[4] Additionally, Gill is an elected member of the International Ornithological Congress, as well as the co-author, with Minturn Wright, of Birds of the World: Recommended English Names (2006).[5] Since 1994 he has led the international effort to use a consistent set of unique English names and authoritative species taxonomy of the birds of the world.[6]

Gill’s contributions include innovative program leadership combined with a personal commitment to engaging the public in ornithology through citizen science. He pioneered “cyberbirding”—the use of the internet for nationwide citizen science initiatives—including the conversion of classic Christmas Bird Count to modern technology. Frank and his colleagues at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology also were awarded US Patent No. 6,772,142 for their internet software application to translate online georeference data to an interactive database. With such tools, he and his colleagues created the Great Backyard Bird Count and then the eBird initiative of Audubon and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

In 1996, Gill became senior vice president and director of science for the National Audubon Society, a position from which he retired in 2004. At Audubon, he championed the nationwide Important Bird Areas initiative in partnership with BirdLife International. In 2007, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the National Audubon Society and served as interim president and CEO (2010). He has been quoted in a number of news reports concerning birds.[7]” — 

Stainton Hall Auditorium

Stainton Hall is on the campus of the Pennington School located on Delaware Avenue between Route 31 and Main Street in Pennington. Enter campus from Delaware Avenue between the brick lamp posts, proceed a short distance and turn right into the parking area. Parking is free. The walkway to Stainton Hall is evident at the end of the parking lot.





Jacob Socolar talk on biodiversity and deforestation in the Amazon basin

Above: Jacob B. Socolar: The Impact of Habitat Loss on Avian Biodiversity from the Amazon to the Eastern US.

Above: Ivory-billed Woodpecker talking taxonomy with Frank Gill and Sally © Frank Gill

Below: Broadbill © Frank Gill

Broadbill © Frank Gill