Date & Time
Wednesday, January 23, 2019
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Farrand Hall, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
2559 Puesta del Sol, Santa Barbara, CA 93105
Presented by Thomas Kraft
Have you ever wondered why telephone poles in California are sometimes perforated with acorns? Or what that striking “waka-waka” sound is that you hear while walking down the street? Variously described as “nature’s clowns” or “clowns of the forest”, the loud and charismatic acorn woodpecker is a common sight throughout the Santa Barbara region. This talk will cover the natural history of this fascinating species, with an emphasis on their unique cooperation and social behavior, and the important role they play in the environment.
Thomas Kraft received his Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Dartmouth College in 2016, with a focus on the socioecology of tropical rainforest hunter-gatherers. After graduation, he moved to the University of California, Santa Barbara, for a postdoctoral scholar position in the Department of Anthropology. Tom’s current interests focus on the social behaviors and health of subsistence populations in the tropics. In his past life, however, Tom worked under Dr. Walt Koenig at Hastings Natural History Reservation to study acorn woodpeckers and their interactions with oak trees. During this time, he spent hundreds of hours watching, banding, and contemplating the fascinating lives of acorn woodpeckers.