Upcoming Meetings

PROGRAMME for 2023

The next meeting on Monday 6 November will be held jointly with the Linnean Society and the lecture will be followed by a reception in the Library. We very much hope as many as possible will be able to join us at Burlington House on the evening of 6  November. The lecture will be streamed live (see Eventbrite link below).

A Wild Dove Chase | Special Event with the Linnean Society

Monday, 6 November 2023 18:00 -Monday, 6 November 2023 20:00

Linnean Society of London, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BF, UK

A special lecture in collaboration with the British Ornithologists’ Club: On Rock Doves and the process of ‘extinction by hybridisation’.

Please do consider a donation. Even the smallest donation goes a long way in helping us deliver our nature outreach work.

This is a hybrid event – please choose your ticket accordingly. The lecture will be followed by a wine reception at the library. Please note that the bar is not free.

The Rock Dove (Columba livia) is the wild form of the domestic pigeon. Unlike the domestic pigeon, which is one of the most well-studied birds, the Rock Dove has been overlooked by biologists in recent decades. Following hybridisation with feral domestic pigeons, Rock Doves are now extinct across much of Europe.

Our work in the UK and Ireland identified Rock Dove populations which have experienced limited interbreeding with feral pigeons. As well as having important conservation implications, the identification of such populations provides scientific opportunity – both as a case study with which to study the process of ‘extinction by hybridisation’, and by providing a valuable natural comparison of interest to the many scientists who study domestic pigeons in laboratories.

Will Smith is based in Oxford, where he recently completed a PhD in Zoology at the Edward Grey Institute of Field Ornithology. He studies avian genomics, using Rock Doves in Scotland and Ireland as a case study to explore wild-domestic hybridisation. He is also interested in Britain’s non-native birds, the impact of parasite infection on evolution, and the application of citizen science in zoological monitoring. Find him on Twitter at @WJSmith97.

If you book an online ticket, the link will be sent two hours in advance of the event. Please do check your spam inbox if you have not received it.

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The event will be streamed live.

Please register at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/699680522277?aff=oddtdtcreator


The last meeting of the year will be on Monday 27 November at 6.00pm in the Barley Mow , 104 Horseferry Road, London SW1P 2EE when Keith Betton will talk on: Saving the Stone Curlew

Keith Betton is Chair of the Hampshire Ornithological Society and has been involved in monitoring Stone Curlews in that county for 15 years. He and his colleagues liaise with farmers and make sure that the nests and chicks of these scarce birds are kept safe when equipment is active nearby. He will talk about that work and the ecology of this very special bird. Keith has had a long association with BOC, joining in 1978 (when he was 18!), and has had two spells on the committee.