Gari Melchers Home and Studio To Host Talk on Science of Bird Song

Gari Melchers Home and Studio will host “Singing for their Supper: The Science of Bird Song,” a talk by Andrew Dolby, associate professor of biology at the University of Mary Washington. The presentation will take place in the Studio Pavilion on Sunday, April 20 at 2 p.m. 

Admission to the lecture is included in the general admission fee of $10 for adults and $5 for students. Admission is free for children ages 5 and under and members of Friends of Belmont. Reservations are not required and light refreshments will be served. 

The audio-enhanced, illustrated talk will explore the science of bird song, including the type of tools scientists use to decipher the messages encoded in song, the kinds of information birds transmit to each other when they sing and why some species sing with greater complexity than others. Dr. Dolby also will provide song identification tips.

Dr. Dolby teaches ecology, animal behavior and ornithology and has conducted a long-term research project on gray catbird song on the campus. In addition, he is the research chair for the Virginia Society of Ornithology and served on its board of directors. He earned a doctorate from Ohio State University.

After the presentation, guests are encouraged to discover Belmont’s wooded trails and view the special spotlight exhibition, “Memorable Madonna: The Art Institute of Chicago’s Mother and Child” in the studio gallery.

Gari Melchers Home and Studio is a 26-acre estate and former residence of the artist Gari Melchers and his wife Corinne. The property, which is operated by the University of Mary Washington, is both a Virginia Historic Landmark and a National Historic Landmark. Located at 224 Washington St. in Falmouth, Va., a quarter mile west of the intersection of U.S. 1 and U.S. 17, it is open daily with an admission charge. The museum also serves as the official Stafford County Visitor Center. For directions and other information, call (540) 654-1015 or visit the museum website at