Prospect Heights Natural Resources Commission
November 29, 2018 - Joel Greenberg
"Hope is a Thing with Feathers: Americans and Three Birds"
Join us as we welcome renown Author and Naturalist Joel Greenberg.
His presentation "Hope is a Thing with Feathers: Americans and Three Birds", takes a look at three birds, each representing a different outcome at the hands of people.
With a population in the billions, the passenger pigeon was the most abundant bird in North America, if not the world. Yet within a matter of decades, unrelenting human exploitation drove it to extinction.
Joel Greenberg and Heinrich
The Kirtland's warbler has since historical times bred in a very limited range and within that tiny area could only breed in jack pines of a certain height and age. In addition, they are heavily parasitized by brown-headed cowbirds. In 1971, there were less than 200 singing males but today, although it costs a million dollars a year, we now know how to maintain healthy populations.
The whooping crane was in even more dire straits, having declined to 23 living individuals twice. Extensive conservation work has been devoted to saving this charismatic species, but its fate is still an open question
Joel Greenberg has over 25 years experience working on natural resource related issues in the Midwest. Currently a Research Associate of both the Chicago Academy of Sciences Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and the Field Museum, he has authored four books including Of Prairie, Woods, and Waters: Two Centuries of Chicago Nature Writing.(2008, University of Chicago Press.); A Natural History of the Chicago Region (2002, University of Chicago Press); and A Feathered River Across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon's Flight to Extinction (2014, Bloomsbury USA).. He co-produced with director David Mrazek the documentary, From Billions to None: The Passenger Pigeon's Flight to Extinction. Greenberg has JD and MA degrees from Washington University.