Stutchbury, Bridget Joan 1962-
Stutchbury, Bridget Joan 1962-
Born 1962, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Education: Queen's University, M.S.; Yale University, Ph.D.
Home—Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada; Cambridge Springs, PA. Office—Graduate Programme in Biology, York University, 4700 Keele St., Toronto, Ontario, M3J 1P3, Canada. E-mail—[email protected]
Writer, educator, international birding expert. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, fellow, research associate; York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, associate professor of biology.
(With Eugene S. Morton) Behavioral Ecology of Tropical Birds, Academic Press (San Diego, CA), 2001.
Silence of the Songbirds: How We Are Losing the World's Songbirds, and What We Can Do to Save Them, Walker (New York, NY), 2007.
Writer and bird expert Bridget Joan Stutchbury was born in Montreal, Canada, and grew up in Toronto. She went on to earn graduate degrees from Queen's University in Canada and Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Following graduation, she spent time working for the Smithsonian Institution as a fellow and research associate. After completing her tenure there, she secured a teaching position at York University in Toronto, where she serves as associate professor of biology. Due to her expertise in bird migration habits and other behaviors, Stutchbury is linked to a wide range of organizations and associations whose purposes are to promote safe bird habitats, such as the World Wildlife Fund. In 2005, the Toronto Star included Stutchbury on their list of people to watch for the year, based in part on her research regarding the sexual behavior of birds. Her primary areas of research interest include behavioral ecology, the conservation of temperate climates considered primary breeding and migration areas, and tropical songbirds, in particular the Hooded Warbler, Purple Martin, Scarlet Tanager, and Wood Thrush. In her examination of the breeding and sexual behavior of these birds, Stutchbury uncovered new information regarding the mating of pairs with a secondary pair, known as extra-pair mating, as well as the reproductive inconsistencies among males of the species.
As a result of her research, Stutchbury has written extensively about birds. Behavioral Ecology of Tropical Birds, which she wrote with Eugene S. Morton, addresses previous theories that the migratory patterns of birds living in more temperate zones mimic those of other areas, allowing scientists to extrapolate data about birds in more tropical climates regarding natural selection and the ecology of the region, proving through her research with Morton that different climates result in unique conditions and different effects for the birds in that geographical zone. John Kricher, writing for the Wilson Bulletin, called the book "a highly insightful overview," concluding: "The authors are to be commended for bringing together an information base that I hope will inspire ornithologists to add to its future expansion. They make a good case. Ornithology in the tropics is different, and we understand too little about that difference."
Stutchbury's next effort, Silence of the Songbirds: How We Are Losing the World's Songbirds, and What We Can Do to Save Them, examines the dwindling songbird population and the reasons why these birds number fewer each year. She traces migratory routes and explains the hazards along the way, as well as looking at the encroachment of civilization on areas that were previously safe havens for birds. From there, she goes on to list simple ways that the average person can help improve conditions for migratory songbirds, in hopes that the population might once again swell, or at least remain steady. Frank Graham, Jr., writing for Audubon, remarked of the book: "Stutchbury is especially adept at stitching together the normally obscure ecological details into a chronicle of inevitable disaster." He went on to observe: "Page after page here recounts surprising details taken from the lives of birds pursuing their destinies within the grand yet heart-breaking drama of 21st-century migration." Moira Farr, reviewing for the University Affairs Web site, commented of Stutchbury's effort: "The facts can be depressing, but Dr. Stutchbury writes both lyrically and passionately about why birds and their habitats matter, and she includes conservation success stories, such as the banning of certain pesticides in Canada and the U.S." In a review for Booklist, Nancy Bent praised Stutchbury's accessible writing style, and noted that "frequent references to her own and other scientists' research, makes complex population and ecological science easy to understand." A reviewer for Publishers Weekly declared that "Stutchbury's affection for the birds is contagious."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Animal Behaviour, October, 2001, Bruce C. Robertson, review of Behavioral Ecology of Tropical Birds, p. 823.
Audubon, July 1, 2007, Frank Graham, "Deafening Silence: Don't Check Your Ears. The Skies Are Really Quieter with the Big Drop in Songbirds, Even If the News Isn't Making the Front Pages," p. 96.
Birder's World, August, 2007, review of Silence of the Songbirds: How We Are Losing the World's Songbirds, and What We Can Do to Save Them, p. 65.
Booklist, April 1, 2007, Nancy Bent, review of Silence of the Songbirds, p. 12.
California Bookwatch, July, 2007, review of Silence of the Songbirds.
Canadian Geographic, May 1, 2007, Trevor Herriot, "Song of a Bird Scientist," p. 92.
Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, January, 2002, D. Flaspohler, review of Behavioral Ecology of Tropical Birds, p. 906.
Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2007, review of Silence of the Songbirds.
Library Journal, April 15, 2007, Robert Eagan, review of Silence of the Songbirds, p. 114.
New Scientist, June 30, 2007, Gail Vines, "A Call to Action," p. 50.
Publishers Weekly, March 19, 2007, review of Silence of the Songbirds, p. 52.
Quarterly Review of Biology, September, 2002, Jeffrey D Brawn, review of Behavioral Ecology of Tropical Birds, p. 361.
Science News, July 28, 2007, review of Silence of the Songbirds, p. 63.
SciTech Book News, March, 2002, review of Behavioral Ecology of Tropical Birds, p. 72.
Wilson Bulletin, September, 2001, John Kricher, review of Behavioral Ecology of Tropical Birds, p. 357.
Audubon Minnesota Web site,http://mn.audubon.org/ (December 5, 2007), author profile.
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Web site,http://www.cbc.ca/ (December 5, 2007), review of Silence of the Songbirds.
Center for Native Ecosystem Web site,http://nativeecosystems.org/ (December 5, 2007), review of Silence of the Songbirds.
Kingston Field Naturalists Web site,http://kingstonfieldnaturalists.org/ (December 5, 2007), author profile.
Silence of the Song Birds Home Page,http://www.silenceofthesongbirds.ca (December 5, 2007), author profile.
University Affairs Web site,http://www.universityaffairs.ca/ (December 5, 2007), Moira Farr, "Eloquent Plea to Save the Songbirds."
University of York, Department of Biology Web site,http://www.biol.yorku.ca/ (December 5, 2007), faculty profile of author.