Local Beekeeper Mike McAvoy

  Story and Photos by Alexandria Polanosky, Multimedia Editor   Mike McAvoy, an Athens resident and Professional Engineer, has an interesting side job: he is an avid beekeeper who maintains five different hives on his property. McAvoy is from Atlanta, Georgia where he grew up on a dairy farm and was first exposed to the…

Bird’s the word: The evolution of vocal learning

By Kelly Fisher If someone calls you a “bird brain,” count yourself praised, not insulted. Neurobiologist Erich Jarvis can tell you just why this is so. For instance, why are parrots able to say “Polly want a cracker” with ease? But a supposedly smarter chimp cannot? “The ability for vocal imitation (in birds), you can’t…