Upcoming Meetings

PROGRAMME for 2018

Monday 19 March — 6.30 pm — Justin Jansen — The ornithology of the Baudin expedition (1800–1804)

Abstract: Dwarf emus captured on King Island (King Island Emu Dromaius novaehollandiae minor) and Kangaroo Island (Kangaroo Island Emu Dromaius novaehollandiae baudinianus) were caged in wooden pens on the deck of his ship Géographe and force fed wine and rice mash when they refused to eat on the voyage home. Two were brought back and represent the sole specimens to reach Europe alive; after Baudin’s visit they became extinct. As well as live specimens of Black Swans Cygnus ater and cockatoos, Nicolas Baudin’s expedition (1800 -1804) returned with over 1000 bird skins. 75 new bird taxa were described as a result of this rich scientific haul. Baudin’s was one of the most successful scientific expeditions of the 19th century. Justin Jansen will guide you through the stunning collection of birds brought back by this French expedition. He has followed the feathered tale of Baudin’s birds throughout Europe’s rich collections, and this talk will showcase the fascinating findings that form the basis of his PhD thesis.

Justin Jansen standing next to the Baudin expedition memorial, Baudin Beach, Kangaroo Island, South Australia, 2017.

Biography: Justin Jansen has been a regular visitor to Europe’s major bird collections for years, and is a correspondent attached to Naturalis Biodiversity Center at Leiden, Netherlands. He is both schooled and working in civil engineering, but has strong interests in historical bird collections, biographies of collectors and challenging identification problems.

Monday 21 May — 6.30 pm — Dr. Bård G. Stokke — Host selection by the common cuckoo

Biography: Bård works in part as a researcher in the AfricanBioServices project at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, and in part as a research professor at the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA), Trondheim. He was awarded his PhD on avian brood parasitism at NTNU in 2001. Bård has studied co-evolution between brood parasites and hosts extensively both in Asia and Europe for 20 years. He is a co-author of the recently published book The Cuckoo—the Uninvited Guest (Plymouth: Wild Nature Press, 2017), which so far has appeared in Dutch, English, French and German editions.

The brambling (Fringilla montifringilla) is an important cuckoo host in Northern Scandinavia. Cuckoo eggs laid by brambling cuckoos are often examples of exquisite mimicry (Photos: Johan R. Vikan, NTNU).

Abstract: The common cuckoo is a generalist parasite at the species level, known to have utilized more than 100 host species in Europe alone. However, individual females are in general host specific, utilizing and often mimicking the eggs of a particular host species. This talk will focus on the spatial variation in host use in Europe, and I will discuss characteristics that are important for parasite utilization of passerine hosts. The research and results that will be described stem mostly from a thorough search for cuckoo parasitism events throughout Europe, which has so far resulted in approximately 65,000 cases of parasitism.

Thursday 14 and Friday 15 June — A joint two-day meeting in Liverpool with the Society for the History of Natural History on the subject — Bon Voyage? 250 Years Exploring the Natural World

Full details including booking form link are given on the Home page and at:


Monday 17 September — 6.30 pm — details to be announced.

Monday 12 November — 6.30 pm — details to be announced.