Kicked out or moving out? Fledging behaviors of grassland songbirds Leaving one’s family home is a momentous occasion for all children, human or otherwise, but for birds it’s not well-known how much of this event is up to the parents’ influence or the nestlings’ choice. This is especially true in the grasslands, where birds build well-camouflaged nests down among the grasses and low shrubs, and where sightlines can stretch for miles in all directions, making undetected observation by researchers a logistical challenge.... continue reading.
Researchers use thermal cameras to detect roosting birds Where do small birds sleep? Mostly in trees is the short answer, but as so often occurs in ecology, there is more to the story…... continue reading.
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.
A golden opportunity: SOLO Wilderness Medicine, Wilderness First Aid course As ornithologists, we frequently find ourselves engaged in avian field research in remote or challenging locations. We find ourselves in beautiful systems intently observing and monitoring species. We find ourselves recreationally in mountains and woodlands and on beaches. We find ourselves beyond the ‘golden hour’, described as the critical first hour after an injury or illness occurs (Hubbell, 2014).... 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.
The most recent issue of the Association of Field Ornithologist’s biannual newsletter, AFO Afield is now available for download. In this issue, we provide a summary of the NAOC VI meeting that was held in Washington D.C. in August 2016. In so doing, we present the recipients of the AFO Student Presentation Awards, the Best Student Publication Award, the Bergstrom Research Awards, and the Pamela L. and Alexander F. Skutch Fund Research Award.... continue reading.