From their mesmerizing songs to their instinctive behavior, birds have resonated with humans for millennia. The ways in which their lives intertwine with ours will be on display at the Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology’s new exhibit, “Remarkable Lives: The Intertwined Worlds of Birds and Humans” beginning Friday, Jan. 25 through July 2019 on the California State University, Chico campus.
A community grand opening will take place on Thursday, Jan. 24, from 5 to 6:30 p.m.
Combining natural history and anthropological perspectives, the new exhibit will investigate the lives of birds and their impact and importance on human cultures, explore the deeply rooted cross-cultural connections between humans and birds, and showcase beautiful artifacts from contemporary indigenous Maya, Hawaiian, and Northwest Pacific cultures. Art from local photographers and a robotic recreation of the late Jurassic Archaeopteryx will also be on display.
Valene L. Smith Museum curator Adrienne Scott said the exhibit will also explore how damage to global ecosystems have created consequences for birds worldwide—and how humans are helping to repair the harm.
“The innovations of citizen science, agricultural flyways, and backyard habitats mitigate these influences and create lush, fun, mini ecosystems that truly support local and regional bird life,” Scott said. “Visitors will consider the impact humans are having on the lives of birds, and how the metaphor of the proverbial canary in the coal mine is playing out on the world stage.”
In a partnership with the Altacal Audubon Society and Snow Goose Festival of the Pacific Flyway, the Valene L. Smith Museum will be open an extra day, Sunday, Jan. 27, to accommodate the festival, which runs locally Jan. 23-27. In its 20th year, the Snow Goose Festival strives to increase public awareness and conservation of wildlife and habitats of the Northern Sacramento Valley. The city of Chico is ideally situated near the Pacific Flyway, a major migratory hub for many bird species during the winter.
The Valene L. Smith Museum is located along the northeast side of the Meriam Library breezeway. The museum is a not-for-profit organization working to promote respect and appreciation for cultural diversity, and is open to visitors every Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Those who require an accommodation in order to visit the museum or who have questions about accessibility may contact the Accessibility Resource Center at 530-898-5959.