Passive restoration contributes to bird conservation in Brazilian Pampa grasslands Passive restoration (natural colonization) has been tested and used as tool to recovery-degraded habitats, mainly in forests. Researchers have investigated for the first time that southern South America grasslands in the process of passive restoration can provide suitable habitat for many species of grassland birds and is an appropriate management tool for biodiversity conservation. Bird species restricted solely to, or which make extensive use of grassland habitats (such as Wedge-tailed Grass-Finch), were recorded in sites under passive restoration and native grasslands, as do also some species of conservation concern (such Sedge Wren and Pearly-bellied Seedeater).... continue reading.
Microhabitat nest‐site selection by ducks in the boreal forest The boreal forest is one of the most important breeding areas for ducks in North America, but there is little information about the nest ecology of ducks from this region. New research just published in The Journal of Field Ornithology reveals microhabitat nest-site selection strategies of five species of boreal ducks from two nesting guilds.... continue reading.
Researchers develop an effective tool for reducing mammalian predation at nests of critically endangered Florida Grasshopper Sparrows Predation is a common cause of nest failure for many birds, but sometimes predation rates can be high enough to warrant action by managers tasked with protecting imperiled species. Discovering new ways to prevent or decrease predation may be a critical step towards recovering endangered populations. New research just published in The Journal of Field Ornithology reveals how the installation of predator exclusion fences at the nests of critically endangered Florida Grasshopper Sparrows substantially decreased predation by mammals. Researchers hope that increasing nest survival rates with fences will contribute towards the recovery of this endemic songbird.... continue reading.
Notes on the breeding biology of Rufous Potoos in lowland Ecuadorian Amazon Potoos are some of the most intriguing birds of the Neotropics. Strictly nocturnal and very hard to see, they hunt insects from a perch, with a technique similar to the used by flycatchers. During the day they perch upright on tree stumps, camouflaging so good that they look like part of the stump or like a dead leaf. There are seven species of Potoos—all from the new world—and five of them inhabit Ecuador. From these, the Rufuos Potoo (Nyctibius bracteatus) is the smallest of the species and perhaps the least known. Rufous Potoos are named after their reddish-brown coloring, that resembles the color of rust or oxidized iron.... continue reading.
Foraging White Ibis target inter-habitat prey movements in the Florida Everglades In the 1800s John James Audubon wrote of the Florida Everglades, “We observed great flocks of wading birds flying overhead toward their evening roosts …. They appeared in such numbers to actually block out the light from the sun for some time.” Though diminished over the past century, wading birds still nest in the tens of thousands during the dry spring months and become an important top predator in the ecosystem. Nesting populations are highly dependent on the availability of aquatic prey, which can become accessible to the birds in high densities as water levels recede across the vast ridge and slough wetland landscape.... continue reading.
Using radios and models to assess extinction risk in a Neotropical highland Cinclodes What do the patterns of space use tell us about the risk of extinction of a species? This relationship is certainly strong. The number of individuals (population size) and the geographical range are among the main criteria for assessing the conservation status of a species by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), and the knowledge about the habitats used is crucial for protecting the natural resources their need to survive.... continue reading.
Apparent survival of tropical birds in a wet, premontane forest in Costa Rica Downpours, blustery winds, and a damp fog are not the best weather for doing fieldwork in Parque Nacional Volcán Tenorio in Costa Rica. Although the inclement weather isn’t great for behavioral observations of White-ruffed Manakins, it does provide an excellent opportunity to write about our recent paper in the Journal of Field Ornithology – “Apparent survival of tropical birds in a wet, premontane forest.”... continue reading.
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.