John Hughes

Location: Andover, Hampshire
About me...

Life dealt me a good hand. I have been blessed with good health, a wonderful wife of 45 years, five children and nine grandchildren. I was in full time employment for 57 years in exciting and interesting jobs. I joined the army aged sixteen and served for 32 years without having to fight a major military conflict. My map making job in the army took to the deserts of Oman, the jungles of Indonesia and many other exotic places. Life was exciting and incredibly good. My middle years were spent working in further education and in the avian science field. I was a part time student at the University of Birmingham for 18 years and obtained a PhD in 2015 when aged 69 years. From a child I have been interested in birds and I am spending my latter years doing my bit to ensure that our children and grandchildren can enjoy birds. During my lifetime seabird populations have declined by 75% and I have been able to contribute to reverse the decline. For 25 years I have studied the birds on the UK’s Overseas Territory of Ascension Island in the tropical Atlantic Ocean. My talks are targeted at those that have a general interest in wildlife on islands in the UK Overseas Territories and covers military history, avian science and seabird conservation. In my talks I describe how my work on Ascension has contributed to revering seabird population decline

About my Talk...

My three talks are primarily about birds but also cover military history, wildlife on tropical islands and seabird conservation. The talks are illustrated with high quality digital images on Powerpoint, each talk lasts about 50 minutes. I have delivered my talks to academics, U3A, Probus, WI’s and care homes. I know my subject well and I obtained a PhD from my research. The talks are independent but are best listened to in order. Questions from the audience are welcomed throughout the talk. I bring with me my own computer and projector with a High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI). If necessary, I can bring a large screen.


Starting figure is £50 plus travelling expenses @ 45p per mile if more than ten miles from my base in Andover.

My Contact Details:

01980 843467

Boobies and Noddies - The Birds of Ascension Island

Boobies and Noddies are amazing seabirds that nest on Ascension Island a tiny tropical military outpost of empire. Ascension’s bizarre environment is perfect for seabirds, the birds are magical with little fear of people. With the aid of stunning images, I tell stories of the island’s history and its birds.

Loving birds – Avian science of Ascension

Birds need our help. Seabird populations on the United Kingdom Overseas Territory of Ascension Island have declined dramatically. With the aid of stunning images, I reveal how a team of citizen scientists from the Army Ornithological Society have discovered some of the causes of the decline and ways of restoring the seabird population.

Where have all the birds gone?

The skies are emptying out, who’s nicked our birds? Worldwide bird populations have plummeted. I use the extinction of the Passenger Pigeon to illustrate the scale of losses. My talk explores losses due to the collection of wild bird eggs, the millinery trade, guano extraction, exotic predators, habitat loss and highlights global warming as the latest threat.

John Hughes Contact Details:

01980 843467

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