Alta Live: Bird-Watching Goes Both Ways

Turns out, the birds are watching us.

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Turns out, the birds are watching us. In his latest for Alta, science journalist Jason G. Goldman explores a new study of Los Angeles’s urban raptors that reveals their close attention to human behavior, even during the pandemic. Goldman and ornithologist Dan Cooper join Alta Live to look at L.A.’s winged community, how the resilience of hawks and falcons rivals our own, and what makes Los Angeles wildlife different from that in other cities. Goldman and Cooper will be in conversation with Alta editor at large Mary Melton.


About the guests:

Jason G. Goldman is an award-winning science journalist and expedition leader based in Los Angeles. He has collared foxes on California’s Channel Islands, been sneezed on by iguanas in the Galápagos, tracked lions in South Africa, ridden a yak across Tajikistan’s Pamir Mountains, and searched for rare lizards in the cloud forests of Ecuador. In addition to Alta Journal, he’s written for Scientific American, the New York Times, National Geographic, the Washington Post, Los Angeles magazine, Teen Vogue, and elsewhere and is the coauthor of Wild L.A.: Explore the Amazing Nature in and Around Los Angeles. He also contributes to Scientific American’s 60-Second Science podcast and is the founder of the wildlife ecotourism company Scifari Expeditions.

Daniel S. Cooper (Harvard AB, UC Riverside MSc, UCLA PhD) is a Southern California native and a former California director of bird conservation for the National Audubon Society. His research and professional work focus on the processes of urban adaptation in birds. He is the author of Important Bird Areas of California and more than two dozen peer-reviewed papers on California natural history. Cooper has worked as an independent consultant on land-use and ecological issues for public and private clients around the state and in Latin America. More recently, Cooper has worked with local planning departments to develop conservation analyses that seek to balance development and recreational uses with species and habitat conservation. Other large projects include launching the Griffith Park Natural History Survey, analyzing the ecological impact of industrial-scale solar projects in the California desert for the Sonoran Joint Venture/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and an ongoing census of nesting raptors at the Jawbone Canyon OHV area in the western Mojave Desert for California State Parks. Cooper lives in Ventura County near Thousand Oaks with his wife and two children.

Check out these links to some of the articles, books, and organizations Goldman and Cooper touched on:

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