Spatial and temporal factors associated with nest survival of Gray Flycatchers in managed ponderosa pine forests During our research on cavity-nesting birds in the Wenas Valley, WA, we observed a breeding population of Gray Flycatchers. The species, a Neotropical migrant, has a widespread breeding distribution in the arid and semi-arid regions of the western United States. As a result of climate change, many Neotropical bird species are expected to shift their distributions northward as regional temperatures increase. A quick literature search revealed that few studies have looked at the nesting ecology of Gray Flycatchers and none have been conducted in the expanded northern portion of its range. For example, in 1972, the species was found breeding for the first time... continue reading.
Recommendations for selecting an arthropod sampling method Since many birds are insectivorous, their study often requires an accurate understanding of the arthropod prey community, including studies into resource selection, dietary overlap, and drivers of population density. However, ornithologists struggle to properly apply arthropod sampling techniques for a variety of reasons. First, there are many different arthropod sampling methods to choose from, each with their own problems and biases. Secondly, some habitats, such as forests, are structurally complex, with many different microhabitats that likely have different arthropod communities. Therefore, the central problem for ornithologists selecting a sampling method is that the arthropod community sampled by the selected method must align with the community of arthropods available to the study species.... continue reading.
A review of threshold responses of birds to landscape changes across the world Habitat loss is recognized as having one of the most severe impacts of human activity on biodiversity. Threshold of habitat cover is a concept used in ecology and landscape ecology to define the breaking point beyond which species are locally lost. Identifying such thresholds is an important task not only for scientists to predict the state of a given ecosystem, but it also has great potential for environmental policy-making and conservation practice. A new review by Isabel Melo and colleagues published in the Journal of Field Ornithology compiles all the 31 studies of habitat cover threshold responses dealing with birds worldwide since the threshold concept was first... continue reading.
One of this year’s Student Presentation Awards goes to William Fetzner, who recently graduated from Texas Tech University with an M.S. in Biology. William presented his research in an oral presentation in a Vocalization & Communication session of the joint AFO-WOS meeting in Chattanooga, TN, USA. Below is a contributed post from William on his research:... continue reading.
One of this year’s Student Presentation Awards goes to Abigail Reid, a high school student in the Science Research Program at Pawling High School, NY. Abigail presented her research as an oral presentation in a Methodology & Techniques session of the joint AFO-WOS meeting in Chattanooga, TN, USA. Below is a contributed post from Abigail on her research:... continue reading.
The Association of Field Ornithologists (AFO) wants your help in designing a logo concept for its business Avinet that specializes at providing essential field supplies to wildlife researchers. AFO’s research supply company began as a distributor of mist nets to ornithologists in the 1950s and has continued to grow to include other essential products to wildlife researchers. In 2016, AFO made purchase of the assets and operation of Avinet, Inc. and has merged operations with Avian Research Supplies.... continue reading.
OSNA Renewal Season Changes: As announced in an email from OSNA on October 11, OSNA’s membership database for the Association of Field Ornithologists, Raptor Research Foundation, Wilson Ornithological Society and American Ornithological Society (formerly AOU and COS), will move to a new cloud-based membership management system, MemberSuite.... continue reading.
One of 2013’s Bergstrom Award recipients was William Lewis, a Master’s student at the University of Southern Mississippi. Below is a contributed post from William on his research: My name is William Lewis and a few years ago the Association of Field Ornithologists awarded me the E. Alexander Bergstrom Memorial Research Award to help finance my research examining the gut microbiota of migratory passerines stopping along the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico. I obtained my Master’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in December 2015 and wanted to report on the major findings of my research. The gastrointestinal tracts of vertebrates host a very large and diverse community of microorganisms (the gut microbiota) which has been... continue reading.
The Ornithological Council (OC) is investigating an e-mail alert service that will generate notices about U.S. federal and state legislation to those who have signed up to receive those notices. On behalf of its member societies, the OC will research each legislative proposal to determine if it is likely to be of interest to ornithologists and if so, if the legislation has the potential to move through the legislative process (most bills never go past the first stage, much less all the steps in the legislative process). In addition, the OC will research the merits of the legislation and provide an analysis of the pros and cons.... continue reading.
Welcome to the new AFO website. We’ve not only redesigned the look of AFO’s home on the internet but have created a number of features that will hopefully better connect our membership. You’ll notice that a variety of social media applications have been integrated into the site. Follow updates from our members via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more.... continue reading.