bird

South Mountain Audubon Society will host a presentation by Dr. Rob Fergus, who teaches geography and environmental studies at Rowan University, at 7 p.m. on May 16, at the Ag Center, 670 Old Harrisburg Road, Gettysburg. The program is free and open to the public. Shown is a Resplendent Quetzal. (Photo Courtesy Linette Mansberger)

How did the Turkey Vulture get its red head? Which bird did the Ancient Mayan creator god transform into in order to bring messages to people? Which bird eggs have magical powers among the Chontal Maya of Tabasco, Mexico? What bird warns Lacandon Maya farmers that a dangerous snake may be nearby? What messages do owls bring to modern Chol, Ch’orti’, Mopan, and other Mayan speakers?

Ancient and modern Maya communities have over 2,000 years of extensive cultural interactions with birds. Join the South Mountain Audubon Society for a presentation by Dr. Rob Fergus, who teaches geography and environmental studies at Rowan University and is president of the Birding Club of Delaware County.

He has been working with native Mayan speakers and a linguist to document and study bird names and folklore among nine Mayan language communities in Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize. His talk will provide a glimpse into fascinating cultural worlds where birds are community members that bring important messages, warnings, and healing to the lives of their human neighbors.

Refreshments and social time will begin at 7 p.m. on May 16. The program will follow a brief business meeting which will begin at 7:30 p.m. The meeting will be at the Ag Center, 670 Old Harrisburg Road in Gettysburg, and is free and open to the public.

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