In Search of Meadowlarks

As a wildlife scientist and birder, I think about our relationship with, and effects on, nature. One of humanity’s grand challenges is to conserve nature while providing for a growing and increasing affluent population. The lessons I’ve learned from agrarians and the scientific literature suggests strategies that we can each employ to help meet this challenge.

As I searched for meadowlarks and other open country birds among farms and ranches, I learned how these species flee the plow and how many farmers adjust their actions to lessen this exodus. I birded and talked with farmers on their lands from Nebraska to California to Costa Rica. I focus on the actions of many farmers that coexist with nature because “it is the right thing to do.”

About our Presenter

John Marzluff is James W. Ridgeway Professor of Wildlife Science at the University of Washington. He has been working with corvids since graduate school, when he focused on the social behavior and ecology of crows, ravens, and jays, and now studies the interactions of ravens and wolves in Yellowstone. He has written six books, including Welcome to Subirdia (2014), in which he demonstrates how moderately settled lands can host a splendid array of biological diversity and suggests ways in which people can steward these riches to benefit birds and themselves. In Search of Meadowlarks (2020) connects our agriculture and diets to the conservation of birds and other wildlife.

Marzluff email is corvid@uw.edu