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Episode 9: Bird Identification and Ecology with M. B. Krishna

Episode 9: Bird Identification and Ecology with M. B. Krishna

Dr. Krishna MB is an ecologist and ornithologist from Bangalore who has been interested in bird and habitat conservation and improvement. A legend in the Bangalore birding community, he has studied zoology and pursued his research on bird ecology.

Krishna is a regular fixture at birding walks at the Lalbagh Botanical Garden and is a wealth of knowledge on ecology and bird identification. He has advised many corporate and individuals on modifying landscape garden plans to make them more urban-wildlife friendly. It is in this capacity that he has advised SAP Labs and Robert Bosch on making their campus gardens more functional. He has also advised other corporates like the Taj West End, Trans Indus, Fanuc India, Benson Company, TVS Motors and others, and the Karnataka State Forest Department on issues related to birds, bird habits and landscaping.

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Episode 8: Dominique Homberger on parrots, cockatoos and Psittaciformes

Episode 8: Dominique Homberger on parrots, cockatoos and Psittaciformes

Are you interested in how parrot species and their beaks evolved? How do parrots eat? What is the link between the length of parrot beaks and what they eat– fruits versus nuts? Have feathers evolved to insulate the birds? Why do feathers fluff up? Why is the body of the bird spindle-shaped? How do vultures soar? Parrots and the connection to Gondwanaland. Why is it bad when parrots in a cage start to speak? Contact calls among flocks of birds, how birds land on trees, are some of the other things she talks about.

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Episode 7: Jairam Ramesh on his tenure as India’s environment minister

Episode 7: Jairam Ramesh on his tenure as India’s environment minister

A few years ago, I cold-emailed Jairam Ramesh, then minister of rural development, with one question: how could urban individuals contribute to rural India? He called me from Gumla, Jharkand. “Do you know where Gumla is?” he asked. Sheepishly, I said No. After some small talk—his mother lives in Bangalore— I asked how the average urban citizen could help rural India, should they desire to. What were his top five priorities?

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Episode 6: Jennifer Ackerman on the genius of birds

Episode 6: Jennifer Ackerman on the genius of birds

Jennifer Ackerman has been writing about science and nature for 30 years. Her most recent book, The Genius of Birds (Penguin Press, April 2016), explores the intelligence of birds.

A contributor to Scientific American, National Geographic Magazine, The New York Times, and many other publications, Jennifer is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including an NEA Literature Fellowship in Nonfiction, a Bunting Institute Fellowship, and a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

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Episode 5: Dr. Jerry Jackson on bird adaptations and the Ivory-billed woodpecker

Episode 5: Dr. Jerry Jackson on bird adaptations and the Ivory-billed woodpecker

Dr. Jerry Jackson is a legend in ornithology, for his life-long fascination with the Ivory-billed Woodpecker.

Interview with Dr. Jerome Jackson, a noted ornithologist based in Florida.  And we are talking about Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary near Naples, Florida.  Located in the heart of the Everglades ecosystem of Southwest Florida, Corkscrew swamp is home to raptors, barred owls, songbirds—there were a ton of Northern Cardinals and Carolina Wrens when I visited in April.

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Episode 2: The Peacock

Episode 2: The Peacock

This episode is about the peacock, not because it is the national bird of India, which it is. But because it gave rise to the second most important work in evolutionary biology. I speak of course of Charles Darwin’s theory of sexual selection. Darwin has referred to the Peacock just three times in his magnum opus, the origin of species. But the...

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