The Bird Group is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Brian C. Latta, Executive Director 831.234.5079 firstname.lastname@example.org
Brian Latta is currently the Executive Director of the newly incorporated non-profit The Bird Group. Brian has worked on various conservation and research projects involving raptors as lead field biologist and raptor propagation and release specialist for the UC Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group (SCPBRG) from 1989 through 2008. From June 2007 to July 2008 he was SCPBRG’s Principle Investigator on the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area Avian Fatality Studies, supervising the avian mortality monitoring team and participating in study design in a cooperative program to reduce avian and bat mortality caused by wind turbines in Alameda County. Brian was also SCPBRG’s Principle Investigator for the California Energy Commision-Public Interest Energy Research, Avian-Energy Systems Mitigation Program during the latter half of 2007. From 1999 to 2004 he was SCPBRG's project manager for the Channel Islands Golden Eagle Removal Program and continues to serve as Golden Eagle expert on the Island Fox Integrated Recovery Team. As a field biologist he participated in various studies involving raptors and wind energy including Grainger Hunt’s golden eagle mortality study as well as pre- and post-installation wind farm raptor surveys for Biosystems, Inc., BioResource Consultants, and Peter H. Bloom. He has also worked on various raptor field projects in Alaska, Texas, Arizona, Oregon, North Carolina, Mexico, Spain, Siberia, and Fiji. Brian received a B.S. in Natural Resources Conservation from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1986.
Raptor biologist Janet Linthicum has worked on various conservation and research projects involving raptors in California from 1983 through 2008. Currently she is the Assistant Director of the newly incorporated non-profit The Bird Group. As a 25-year member of the UC Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group, she was Propagation Specialist during its captive propagation and release efforts involving Peregrine Falcons, Harris's Hawks, Aplomado Falcons, and Elf Owls, among other species. She maintained SCPBRG's data and produced contract and permit reports for all activities undertaken by the Group. Fieldwork included studies on Peregrine Falcon nesting behavior, Bald Eagle ecology in California and Arizona for Biosystems Analysis Inc, Peregrine Falcon manipulations and reintroductions, and California Condor tracking, provisioning, and assisting with trapping, through The National Audubon Society at the nadir of the remnant Condor population, at the time consisting of only five free-flying Condors.
In Spring of 2009 Janet oversaw the post-delisting survey of Peregrine Falcons in California for the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, monitoring a sample of the known nests and determining their status. These surveys occur every three years, and we have conducted three such surveys for California. Janet continues to keep data records for the group, and prepares permit and contract reports. She is also involved in development for our new group along with her colleagues. Janet is currently participating in an advisory capacity on a Biodiversity Conservation Plan for Santa Cruz County. She is a member of the Raptor Research Foundation and the Ornithological Societies of North America.
Alberto Palleroni, Ph.D., Research Director831.459.0414 email@example.com
Dr. Palleroni researches topics of animal communication and perception in laboratory and field studies, most recently in the Program of Neurosciences at Harvard University. His second doctoral training, in Ecology, included a specialization in neurophysiology. He has many years’ experience conducting large-scale field experiments with raptors (see Science, 2004; The Proceedings of the Royal Society, 2004; Nature 2005). His research on the evolutionary arms race between peregrines and pigeons sparked his interest in grappling with bird collision problems. With insights into the evolutionary challenges that birds contend with in their natural world, Dr. Palleroni has launched the Avian Safety Research (ARS) program with foci on the "bottlenecks" of sensory information in an attempt to isolate the key sources of a bird's failure to detect an obstacle.
Although an experimental biologist (and a chemist), Alberto has diverse experience with raptors across the globe, including the United States (The Peregrine Fund in Idaho, UC Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group in California and Oregon, Padre Island Texas Peregrine Study and with the Oregon Fish & Wildlife), Greenland Peregrine Falcon Study, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya, Namibia, Botswana, and was the founding Director of The Neotropical Raptor Center for The Peregrine Fund Inc., in Panama.
Paul Young, Field Biologist 805.714.8788
Before moving to The Bird Group, Paul Young worked for the Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group for over twenty-five years as a biological technician. In the mid-eighties, Paul was engaged in pioneering research involving peregrine falcons nesting on man-made structures in the Los Angeles area. During this period, Paul was also involved in Merlin, Gyrfalcon, and Golden Eagle research in Alaska. Other research projects included trapping raptors at the Cape May Bird Observatory, Peregrine Falcon reintroductions in California and various research projects involving Golden Eagles, Burrowing Owls and raptor censusing at proposed wind farm sites. For the past thirteen years Paul has been involved in avian predator management projects at Vandenburg Air Force Base (VAFB) and The Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area (ODSVRA). At these sites, individual avian predators that are considered an unacceptable threat to the endangered California Least Terns and threatened Western Snowy Plovers were live-trapped and relocated to suitable habitat far enough away from the VAFB and The ODSVRA that they would not likely return. For the past eight years Paul has worked at the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area as the primary avian predator management specialist. He earned a B.A. in Rhetoric from UC Berkeley.
Prior to joining The Bird Group, James was Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Group 3 Development, LLC in Taos, New Mexico – a real estate development company he co-founded specializing, in green in-fill projects totaling over 60 dwellings within seven years.
In addition to development work for The Bird Group, James is currently president of Green in the Black, a strategic planning company guiding emerging brands through the green market landscape. Providing strategy, content, design, engineering, and marketing – Green in the Black makes the sustainable obtainable and profitable.
Recently James co-founded The Convenient Answer; a scientific think tank conducting research into energy solutions to combat global warming; informing technical, political and social policy. The emerging group includes scientists from The Santa Fe Institute and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
James’ green entrepreneurial spirit started with TerraPax, Inc., a company he established in 1992 to manufacture fashionable carrying bags from only natural, sustainable material – a company with zero waste from manufacturing, TerraPax is an authentic ecological brand with international distribution. James sold the entity after ten successful years. He is on the advisory board of the Western Environmental Law Center, on the board of the Trilobite Foundation, and the board of the Taos Mountain Film Festival.
James received a B.A. in Human Ecology from the College of the Atlantic, where he focused on the fluid mechanics of bird flight, fish propulsion, and the structural morphology of bones.
Iconic predatory bird whose image is used as part of The Bird Group logo, Angelina lived wild and free near Santa Cruz, CA, and may still. Janet Linthicum writes about Angelina; "She is one of the most beautiful Peregrines I've ever been privileged to see, let alone live with briefly. She came into our hands due to a wing injury. We thought she was a winter migrant but it turned out she was the nearby breeding female. We learned that when Brian Latta was flying her for rehabilitation exercise and she flew in to the nest canyon. We were concerned she might be attacked by "the locals" but it turned out she WAS the local, as evidenced by the male mating with her. Brian decided at that point she was better off with her mate since it was the breeding season and he would feed her. They brought off three young the next season. She has been photographed devouring a pigeon on the beach in Santa Cruz wearing what are called aylmeris through which jesses would normally be threaded if the bird wasn't flying. Brian could have trapped her to remove them, but chose to let her be as they don't hurt anything and will eventually fall off, in fact they have already. A clue that this is indeed Angelina is that she has no band; if she were a lost falconry bird she would have been banded. Also, in the photos one can see she is hanging the "hand" of her right wing. She does this when relaxed but it doesn't affect her flying. She lost a ligament to the injury. In the picture, on a Santa Cruz beach, she's several miles from "home", nothing to a peregrine if there are abundant pigeons to be had.
Angelina during rehab. Photo: Brian Latta
Angelina incubating after release. Photo: Brian Latta