Overcoming Fears: the birds that scare us

(Bradenton, Fla., Oct. 27, 2015) — The focus of this year’s “Overcoming Fears” lecture sponsored by the Venice Green Team and Environmental Trekkers Club at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) is "The Corvids: Science and Superstition about the Birds We Fear." Featuring Dr. Angela Tringali of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the event will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29 at SCF Venice, 8000 S. Tamiami Trail, Building 300, Room 307. The talk is free and open to the public.

The goal of this annual series at SCF Venice is to become more aware and respectful of creatures around which human anxieties often gather.

Corvids, the family of birds that includes ravens, magpies, jays and crows, often are used as symbols of death, misfortune and the supernatural in both ancient and modern mythology and literature. Many cultures associate the raven with death and destruction, especially in times of warfare. Edgar Allan Poe capitalized on the mystical aura of the bird to great effect in his poem bearing its name, while blood-thirsty crows featured prominently in Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller, “The Birds.”

Dr. Tringali, who serves as the Commission’s statewide Florida scrub and sandhill bird conservation coordinator, will address the science and superstitions surrounding corvids. She earned her Ph.D. in Conservation Biology from the University of Central Florida, where she studied the evolution of ornamental traits in juvenile Florida scrub jays. Her research primarily has focused on avian (bird) behavioral ecology as it relates to social selection and plumage display. She is interested in studying how urbanization and habitat fragmentation affect social behavior, dispersal, and the evolution of life-history strategies.

Woody McCree, associate professor, art, design, humanities, is the Green Team chair. The SCF Green Team is a group of students, faculty and staff that works in collaboration to design and implement projects that maintain the natural beauty and the environmental significance of SCF Venice.

For more information, contact McCree at 941-408-1503. Maps and directions are available at

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