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Most people, at least those who read Alice in Wonderland as children, have a vague idea that the dodo is a child-size, cane-carrying bird with neatly pressed cuffs. John Tenniel’s illustrations are the only place you’re likely to come across one: The island birds (related to pigeons but larger than turkeys) have long been extinct. In “The Song of the Dodo: A Silence in the Universe,” naturalist David Quammen commemorates Earth Day with a discussion of the global patterns of extinction; the illustrated lecture will focus on island flora and fauna, including the flightless “elephant birds” of Madagascar and Indonesia’s giant lizards. At 8 p.m. at the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden’s Ring Auditorium, 8th & Independence Ave. SW. $13. For reservations call (202) 357-3030. (NA)