Survival tactics for chickadees in the Tahoe Basin

Submitted to the Tribune

The Tahoe basin is known for its many different animal species that live in the area. One of the more popular species in the region is the chickadee, with many locals and tourists making the trek to Chickadee Ridge summer and winter to feed the birds.

Aside from the free handouts the birds on Chickadee Ridge receive, how do the chickadees survive year-round in the Tahoe basin? Join Tahoe Silicon Mountain, a local network of entrepreneurs and professionals, at 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 8, to hear Ben Sonnenberg speak on the natural selection and spatial cognition in wild food-catching mountain chickadees.

Sonnenberg will enlighten the audience on how the chickadees survive the cold snowy winters by storing and retrieving food. The Pravosudov lab at the University of Nevada, Reno has been working on untangling the secrets behind how mountain chickadees are able to recover their hidden food stores and whether or not these memory abilities are under natural selection.

Sonnenberg is a 4th year PhD student at UNR where he conducts research in the avian cognitive ecology lab focusing on Mountain chickadees. His projects include monitoring the spatial learning and memory abilities as well as the reproductive investments of the long-term study population. Ben is a Montana native from Bozeman and received a degree in Biology from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA. He has worked around the country, including Washington, Nevada, Alaska and Connecticut, conducting avian related research and public outreach.

The event will be available on YouTube as a livestream at or log onto YouTube and search for Tahoe Silicon Mountain.

The audience can submit questions during the presentation.

Source: Tahoe Silicon Mountain

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