Subject to change as plans for the virtual meeting develop.

Full-Day Symposia

Addressing aerial insectivore declines in the western hemisphere: hypotheses, research, and a flight path for the future


Organizers: Tara Imlay and Kevin Kardynal

Findings from nearly a decade of work focused on understanding drivers of population declines in avian aerial insectivores, their implications for conservation, and future research prioritization in the western hemisphere.

Contemporary insights into evolutionary processes using large-scale comparative analyses of avian behavior


Organizers: Gavin Leighton and Russell Ligon

Broad comparative insight into the evolution of bird behavior.

Urban bird conservation and global change: Celebrating 50 years of bird research in, of, and for cities


Organizers: Susannah Lerman, Amanda Rodewald, Christopher Lepczyk

Celebrating 50 years of urban bird research and conservation in cities and suburbs.

The process and products of sexual selection: ecology, behavior, genomics, and physiology of manakins


Organizers: Alice Boyle and Elsie Shogren

Diverse perspectives that integrate multiple subdisciplines of ornithology to collectively answer core questions about sexual selection in a charismatic family of Neotropical birds.

Studies of avian radiations in the 21st century


Organizers: Martin Stervander, Scott Taylor, David Toews, and Leonardo Campagna

Our symposium will highlight advances in studies of avian radiations, with perspectives on behavior, ecology, and genomics, highlighting how recent research and new techniques are improving our understanding of avian speciation, and how these findings speak to avian evolution in an age of rapid environmental change.

Island treasures: Lessons learned from 30 years of avian research, education, and conservation


Organizers: Lisa Sorenson, Anilleno Davis, and Adrianne Tossas

This symposium will share results and success stories from case studies and recent avian research, monitoring and conservation projects in the Caribbean, including lessons learned and highlighting the value of a regional approach, partnerships, and networking across a highly diverse region.

Birds and hurricanes: effects, responses, resilience, and conservation


Organizers: Joe Wunderle and Tomas Carlo-Joglar

This symposium focuses on hurricane effects on birds and their forest resources as well as avian responses to these effects and conservation implications.

Half-Day Symposia

The relevance of bird conservation in broader land use, conservation, and sustainable development efforts

Wednesday AM

Organizers: Greg Butcher and Amy Upgren

This symposium will provide strategies for advancing bird conservation integration into broader land use, conservation, and sustainable development efforts in the Americas.

Scaling up patterns of avian phenological change

Wednesday AM

Organizers: Morgan Tingley and Casey Youngflesh

This symposium seeks to quantify changing patterns in the timing of migration and reproduction, focusing on efforts to scale-up ecological research to better understand the taxonomic, spatial, and temporal components of phenological change in birds and how this maps onto changes in the physical environment and at other trophic levels.

The global rise of naturalized parrots: status, lessons learned, and emerging issues

Wednesday PM

Organizers: Donald Brightsmith, Stephen Pruett-Jones

This symposium will bring together leaders in the study of naturalized parrots to share perspectives on the global status, ecology, genetics, impacts, and management of this widely distributed group.

A bird’s eye view of the microbiome

Wednesday PM

Organizers: Brian Trevelline, Elin Videvall, and Kevin Kohl

Organizers: This symposium will explore the importance of the avian microbiome in several areas of research within ornithology with the aim of exposing NAOC attendees to the diversity of methods and applications used to study host-microbe interactions in avian systems.

Making the most of disparate data to map opportunities for migratory bird conservation

Wednesday PM

Organizers: Jill Deppe, Nathaniel Seavy, and William DeLuca

This symposium will bring together a diverse set of speakers to share how disparate data on migratory birds are being synthesized and applied to conservation challenges in the Western Hemisphere.

Ornithological research with open-access repositories

Thursday AM

Organizer: Pierre-Paul Bitton

This symposium will present existing and developing natural history big data initiatives that will allow researchers, including ornithologists, to efficiently access previously collected data and answer new questions.

100-year anniversary of bird banding lab: A century supporting and advancing management and conservation science

Thursday AM

Organizer: Antonio Celis-Murillo

This symposium will provide an overview of the Bird Banding Laboratory’s key role of supporting and advancing management and conservation science for the first 100 years and how it plans to continue its program over the next century, as technology advances and new research and management needs develop.

Back to the future of the breeding bird survey

Thursday PM

Organizers: Veronica Aponte and Keith Pardieck

With the new BBS Strategic Plan fresh off the press and guiding the evolution of this long-term, continental monitoring program, this symposium will showcase active areas of research designed to expand the utility of the BBS for avian conservation and management.

Advances in the study of grassland birds of the Americas

Thursday PM

Organizers: Adrian Di Giacomo, Cecilia Kopuchian, Carla Suertegara, and Alex Jahn

We will address the most immediate threats to grassland birds in the Americas, such as the intensification of livestock, the impact of climate change, and factors that affect their reproduction and survival. It will also highlight new methods and technologies that allow research on their full annual cycle, including migration.

Predicting bird distributions under global change

Thursday PM

Organizer: Maggie MacPherson

To understand the tools being used to infer how global change affects bird distributions, this symposium showcases the diversity of logistical, theoretical and temporal perspectives being used to improve our understanding of avian ranges responding to global change. Thursday

International research use of bird egg collections

Friday AM

Organizers: Miguel Marini and Linnea Hall

This symposium aims to inform scientists about the availability of about 5 million birds’ eggs in hundreds of institutions worldwide and to share information on their relevant and diverse uses, such as their importance for understanding patterns of avian migration, evolution of brood parasitism, color signaling and thermoregulation, impacts of climate change, and environmental contamination.

Movement energetics and behavioral strategies to overcome constraints on flight performance

Friday AM

Organizers: Ivan Maggini and Emily Choy

We will present the most recent advances in the studies of movement energetics in different life-history and environmental contexts.

Leveraging museum collections to track avian population responses to anthropogenic change

Friday PM

Organizers: Phred Benham and Shane Dubay

This symposium will explore the diversity of ways that natural history collections are being used to understand avian responses to anthropogenic change; and how these specimen resources can most effectively contribute to addressing conservation issues.

Celebrating success in avian conservation

Friday PM

Organizers: Andrew Cox and Sarah Kendrick

This symposium details habitat, population, and species-wide avian conservation successes.

What’s on the menu? Multiple approaches to studying avian diet

Friday PM

Organizers: Allison Snider and Sabrina Taylor

This symposium focuses on exploring the use of different techniques to understand avian diet, with three main goals: 1) to gather basic ecological data on species, 2) understand and address the effects of global and anthropogenic changes on birds, and 3) inform conservation efforts.

Advancing the integration of behavior into songbird conservation and management

Friday PM

Organizers: Darren Proppe and Amanda Beckman

This session will explore our understanding of songbird behavior, ranging from individual decision-making to population-level patterns, with a strong focus on applying these concepts to management and conservation in our rapidly changing environment.

Rethinking coastal development, engineering, and design for resiliency and shorebird conservation

Friday PM

Organizers: Osvel Hinojosa-Huerta and Viviana Ruiz-Gutierrez

The session will showcase a diverse set of case studies of science-based solutions that integrate tools from engineering, landscape design, governance and legal instruments for the conservation of coastal shorebird habitats along the Pacific Flyway.

Understanding citizen scientists in service of managing and conserving birds: Attitudes, motivations, behavior, and identity

Saturday AM

Organizer: Tina Phillips

We present a series of ornithological case studies using citizen science to better understand how birder attitudes, motivations, and behaviors can inform conservation and management of birds at varying scales.

Birds connect our world: Using tracking technology to inform conservation action

Saturday AM

Organizers: Miguel Matta, Susan Bonfield, and Barbara Pazos

The 2020 World Migratory Bird Day conservation theme, Birds Connect Our World, explores global- and fine-scale migratory routes, following this year’s selected bird species in their journeys, examining the ways we track their migrations and threats they face along the way, and highlighting communities that are working to protect them.

Global concerns and strategies for parrot populations

Saturday PM

Organizers: Christine Dahlin and Timothy Wright

Parrots are among the most threatened of avian taxa, and this symposium will highlight conservation issues of particular relevance to the taxa with topics including communication, genetics, population surveys and more.

Dynamics of tropical bird communities and populations in the West Indies and beyond

Saturday PM

Organizers: Judith Toms and Jeff Brawn

In honor of John Faaborg’s research in Puerto Rico that spans nearly 50 years, this symposium brings together a diverse group of investigators to discuss their long-term research on the ecology of bird populations and communities in Puerto Rico and elsewhere in the Neotropics, with questions ranging from the impacts of climate and land use to interactions among species and species’ distributions on archipelagos.

Lightning Symposia

Protecting and restoring bird habitat in the agricultural matrix: net benefits for birds and farmers


Organizers: Sacha Heath and Mathew Johnson

Ten presenters in 60 minutes will share their findings on the effects of uncultivated vegetation in and around farms on birds and the resulting avian-mediated services and disservices to farmers.

Lightning talks for Golden Auks


Organizer: Nathaniel Wheelwright

This session consists of 5-minute lightning talks by ornithologists above a certain age, describing the best paper they ever wrote.