Consequences and the strategy behind nest reuse in a Neotropical thrush

Have you ever seen a bird building its nest? The complex architecture of such structures is intriguing and lovely per se, but it is impossible not consider the hundreds, if not thousands, of trips carrying nesting material. A finished nest results from several days of parental effort aiming at providing adequate microclimate and protection to their offspring. It seems logical that all that energy... Read More

Nest-site selection by Cassia Crossbills and management implications

While gathering data on mate pairing patterns of Red Crossbills in the South Hills, Idaho for my dissertation, I occasionally found nests being built. Realizing that we knew so little about what eventually was described as the Cassia Crossbill, I decided to characterize nest locations. Trevor Fetz, another graduate student, was also conducting fieldwork on crossbills... Read More

OC bimonthly news brief July-August 2021

The Ornithological Council is pleased to provide this bimonthly report covering activities in July and August 2021. The Ornithological Council’s mission is to: Ensure that the best ornithological science is incorporated into legislative, regulatory, and management decisions that affect birds; Enhance the ability of ornithologists to pursue professional activities; and Promote the influence of ornithology... Read More

Grass Wrens in the Uspallata Valley: notes from a Bergstrom Award recipient

I studied the Grass Wren in the Uspallata Valley, Mendoza, Argentina, at the foothills of the magnificent Central Andes Mountains. A beautiful setting where there are grassland patches associated with riverbeds in which the Grass Wrens breed and reside all year round. The development of my PhD thesis involved fieldwork during four months and three breeding seasons... Read More

Measuring the value of oil palm plantations versus native forest as habitat for Neotropical migratory birds in Mexico

I came to Michigan Technological University from southern Brazil in the Fall of 2017 to start my Ph.D. in the College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science. Once in Michigan, I was introduced to a diverse community of neotropical migrant songbirds that were rarely seen in my home country of Brazil. Although different species, I was familiar with some closely related South American birds within the same genus as those found in Michigan, such as warblers (Setophaga) and vireos (Vireo). Read More

Mid-summer arrival by Blue Grosbeaks at the northern extent of their breeding range: evidence for dual breeding?

On my morning running route through farmland with shrubby field borders in southeastern South Dakota, I noticed that Blue Grosbeaks often first showed up in the area on approximately July 1st. This arrival pattern seemed odd and different from arrival patterns of typical migrants in this habitat, such as Dickcissel, Indigo Bunting, Field Sparrow and Orchard Oriole... Read More

Diverse patterns of migratory timing, site use, and site fidelity by Alaska-breeding Whimbrels

In February 2008 my boss offered me the chance to “spring out” at our U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service administrative cabin on Kanuti National Wildlife Refuge in north-central Alaska. Having visited the cabin occasionally for brief summer stints in my previous five years with the Refuge, I had not been there in the boreal spring to observe the many changes during this special season... Read More

Documenting the ecology of Cerulean Warblers in the understudied Ozark region

Cerulean Warblers (Setophaga cerulea) are a Nearctic-Neotropical migratory songbird species in decline. During the breeding season, Cerulean Warblers nest in deciduous forests of the eastern United States and Canada. Over about the last twenty years, much research has focused on improving our knowledge of the biology of this species to inform conservation and reverse this decline. Read More

Bergstrom Award helps Ph.D. student with research on threatened grassland birds in Argentina

When I was awarded my Ph.D. grant I was filled with excitement and joy as I would be able to study some of the most iconic bird species of northeastern Argentina’s vast grasslands: the Strange-tailed Tyrant (Alectrurus risora), the Black-and-white Monjita (Xolmis dominicanus), the Tawny-bellied Seedeater (Sporophila hypoxantha), and the recently described Iberá Seedeater (S. iberaensis). Read More