What Makes a Species? Streamertail Hummingbirds with Dr. Caroline Judy, June 22nd

Photo: by Dr. Caroline Judy

Thursday, June 22, 2023
7:00 – 8:00 PM
Fee: $25 (For members $15)

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Dr. Caroline Judy will present a program on June 22 on her work studying an unusual case of island speciation seen in Jamaican streamertail hummingbirds (Trochilus spp). Streamertail hummingbirds are closely-related hummingbirds that are distinguished on the basis of bill color, which is bright red in the Red-billed Streamertail and jet black in the Black-billed Streamertail. Historically, they have been treated as subspecies by the North American Classification and Nomenclature Committee. However, Dr. Judy found evidence for reproductive isolation that informed the committee’s recent decision to elevate streamertail hummingbirds to full species status. Dr. Judy also will discuss many aspects of streamertail biology that are common to all hummingbirds, and focus on the ultimate question – why are hummingbirds as a genus so rich in species?

Dr. Caroline Judy is a research associate in the Division of Birds, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Caroline is interested in how and why birds form new species.