Bird behaviour in a changing world: with a special focus on bird senses

14 Sep - 15 Sep 2017

Bird Sense 2017 brings together a distinguished list of international researchers to explore how birds perceive the varying landscapes in which they live, and how we might tackle challenges faced in welfare, conservation, and from anthropogenic change.




Register now (14 Sep only)

Register now (15 Sep only)

Birds inhabit every continent of the world and virtually all available ecological niches, from cities to the frozen tundra, from tropical rainforests to deserts, and from mountain ranges to the ocean. They eat fruits and insects; snails and worms; cereal grains and plants; mammals and fish; beeswax; sap, and nectar. But in our human-modified world birds face many challenges their ancestors did not: the glass fronts of tall buildings, wind turbines and power lines, artificial daylight that turns night to day; and noisy air traffic that moves faster than any of their natural predators. But birds also cause conflicts for humans: they can be major pests of crops and cause nuisance in urban settings. Some birds are thriving; others are struggling. 

Together, we hope to formulate questions, instruments and analyses to capture how birds make sense of their changing world.

PDF icon Flyer: Bird senses symposium 14-15 Sep 2017 (511.77 KB)

  • Call for posters

Delegates are invited to submit proposals to present a poster at this sympoium.  To submit a poster, please fill in the poster proposal form below and send it to before 31 August 2017 at the latest. 
Successful proposals will be notified by 7 September 2017.

File Poster proposal form - Bird Sense symposium (43.44 KB)


  • Attending this event

Registration is required to attend this event.  Please book via the link above.  If you have any queries or problems please contact; tel 020 7449 6227

  • Tickets

2 days: Full price £160
2 days: Discount price (for ZSL Members/Fellows and students) £80
1 day: Full price £100
1 day: discount price (for ZSL Members/Fellows and students) £50


  • Note that ZSL Fellows/Members discounts will be automatically applied at the payment stage
  • Registration fee includes lunch and refreshments

  • Organisers

Dr Hannah Rowland, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology

Professor Innes Cuthill, University of Bristol

Dr Tom Pike, University of Lincoln


  • Speakers

Dr Slav Bagriantsev, Yale University
Cellular and molecular specialization to mechanoreception in the duck bill

Dr Maude Baldwin, Max Plank Institute for Ornithology
Sweet and umami taste preferences in birds

Professor Melissa Bateson, Newcastle University
Sensing internal state

Professor Tim Birkhead FRS, University of Sheffield
What I don't know about birds and their senses

Dr Francesco Bonadonna, CEFE-CNRS
The lords of the perfumes

Dr Signe Brinkløv, University of Southern Denmark
Do bird echolocation and conservation fly together?

Dr John Ewen, Institute of Zoology, ZSL
Improving supplementary feeding in species conservation

Dr Esteban Fernandez-Juricic, Purdue University
Applying sensory biology and behaviour to solve conservation conflicts

Sam Hardman, The Max Planck Institute for Ornithology
How fast can a bird react to noise? A test of the speed of the Lombard effect in canaries

Elspeth Kenny, University of Sheffield

Dr Dorothy McKeegan, University of Glasgow
Pressure perception in poultry: welfare implications

Dr Gail Patricelli, University of California, Davis
Sensitive birds in a noisy world: the impacts of noise pollution on sage-grouse

Dr Steve Portugal, Royal Holloway University
From secretary birds to white-headed vultures: finding your next meal while avoiding a collision 

Associate Professor Eugeni Roura, University of Queensland
Taste, feathers and welfare

Dr Eve Schneider, Yale University

Dr John Skelhorn, Newcastle University
Taste and how it is affected by visual signals

Dr John Swaddle, College of William and Mary
Using targeted noise deterrents to reduce human avian conflicts

Dr Scott J Werner, United States Department of Agriculture, National Wildlife Research Center
Applications of visual cues and postingestive consequences for managing bird-agriculture interactions

Dr Doug Wylie, University of Alberta
Neural mechanisms underlying visual motion dectection



  • This symposium will take place in the Huxley Lecture Theatre, Main Meeting Rooms, Zoological Society of London, Outer Circle, Regents Park, NW1 4RY 

  • Nearest underground station: Camden Town

  • Nearest bus stop: Number 274

  • Please find further information on directions here


This event is is supported by the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB)

Logo - ASAB