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Jeff and Tess Freedman have boated extensively on Central New York (CNY) and regional waterways, observing and photographing local birds. Their local travels by boat have included the Erie, Oswego and Seneca Canals, several of the Finger Lakes, the Thousand Islands area, and the Rideau Canal and the Trent-Severn Waterway in Ontario. In October, 2012, they went on a photo safari to Kenya and Tanzania, visiting national parks, conservation areas and game reserves where they observed, identified, and photographed wildlife, including more than 100 species of East African birds, from ostriches to the common drongo. This talk will present some of their favorite bird photographs, with a view towards comparing the birds of far-off Africa, and other equatorial zones (South America, Galapagos Islands) recently visited, with our own birds here in Central New York. Some topics to be discussed include: which families of birds are represented in both continents; how some East African and CNY birds are adapted similarly to their specific habitats; how certain African birds, like the Sacred Ibis or the Secretary Bird, got their names, and other “fun facts” related to feeding or other adaptive behaviors. Certain species of East African birds seen, such as the Lesser Flamingo, some vultures, the Secretary Bird, the Southern Ground Hornbill, and the Grey-crowned Crane, are near-threatened, vulnerable, or endangered for extinction.

Speaker and amateur photographer Jeffrey C. Freedman (B.A. Swarthmore College; Ph.D. in Biology, University of Pennsylvania) has taught Biology at Reed College, Portland, Oregon.  Subsequently, after post-doctoral research at Yale University, he performed research and taught Medical Physiology for 35 years at SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY, where he is now emeritus faculty.  He also is an avid boater, is Past-Commodore of Onondaga Yacht Club and Past-Commander of Syracuse Sail & Power Squadron.  In his retirement he teaches boating safety and boating-related courses to the public.  He is also Past-Chair of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Community Participation Working Group (CPWG) on the remediation of Onondaga Lake.  An amateur photographer, he has exhibited in the “On My Own Time Art Show” and at the library at SUNY-Upstate, at the Everson Museum of Art, and at the Museum of Science and Technology (MOST) in Syracuse.

Principal amateur photographer Tess Freedman (B.A. Swarthmore College; Ph.D. in Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania) is a retired Research Professor of Chemistry at Syracuse University where for many years she performed research and taught Chemistry, and has also taught at Swarthmore College and at Onondaga Community College.  An avid boater and amateur photographer, her photographs are displayed at Onondaga Yacht Club, Liverpool, NY, where she is currently Commodore.  She is also the Education Officer of Syracuse Sail & Power Squadron.  She has won photo contests of the Onondaga Lake Partnership, and has had photos selected for publication by the Army Corps of Engineers, and also by the Great Lakes Conservancy for a poster regarding citizen participation in the control of invasive aquatic plants.

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