The Blake-Nuttall Fund is providing partial or full funding for the following projects in 2017-2018:

Assessing the value of MassAudubon’s citizen science data for climate change biology

Abstract and further information will be posted at a future time.

Tracking movements and habitat use of wintering evening grosbeaks (Coccothraustes vespertinus) and breeding Swainson’s thrush (Catharus ustulatus) in Western Pennsylvania

Abstract and further information will be posted at a future time.

Raptor education for students of New Mexico

Abstract and further information will be posted at a future time.

Is there a relationship between fish populations and loon abundance and breeding success in New Hampshire lakes?

Abstract and further information will be posted at a future time.

Use of transmission line rights-of-way and NE cottontail clearcuts by adult and fledgling songbirds during the breeding and post-breeding periods

Abstract and further information will be posted at a future time.

Common nighthawk wind guidelines and monitoring

Abstract and further information will be posted at a future time.

Migration behavior of Veery (Catharus fuscecens)

Abstract and further information will be posted at a future time.

Habitat use and migratory connectivity of terrestrial avifauna on the South Coast of Puerto Rico

Abstract and further information will be posted at a future time.

Human-Wetland-Bird interactions in Trinidad and Tobago

Abstract and further information will be posted at a future time.

Chestnut Ridge HawkWatch Report from Bedford Audubon

Bedford Audubon’s 2017 Chestnut Ridge HawkWatch ran from August 25 through November 22, spanning 90 days. The count was held 84 days, totaling 589 hours, with 6 inclement weather days. Mid-September was very warm with average high temperatures over 25 C; unseasonably warm temperatures persisted through late October. November 11 was the coldest day, with…

Northern Saw-whet owls in Arkansas: What are they doing here?

Abstract and further information will be posted at a future time.

Quantifying piping plover brood range

Abstract and further information will be posted at a future time.

Breeding ecology of American Pipit (Anthus rubescens) in New Hampshire’s Presidential Range

Abstract and further information will be posted at a future time.

Spatiotemporal repeatability in migration of an arctic-breeding shorebird, the Dunlin (Calidris alpina)

Abstract and further information will be posted at a future time.

Managing vegetation on Maine islands for federally-endangered Roseate Terns

Abstract and further information will be posted at a future time.

Developing a predictive model for American Kestrel nest box occupancy

Abstract and further information will be posted at a future time.

Explore Birds. Learning environments in public spaces across NYC.

Abstract and further information will be posted at a future time.

Whip-poor-will migratory applied research project

Abstract and further information will be posted at a future time.

Blake-Nuttall Fund Grants: 2018 Request for Proposals

The Nuttall Ornithological Club is soliciting proposals for bird-related projects to be conducted in 2018–2019 under the direction of organizations meeting certain qualifications. Selected projects are supported by grants from the Club's Blake-Nuttall Fund.

The Fund supports ornithological research, conservation, and education, with particular emphasis on the birds of New England and the Northeast.

The receipt deadline for applications is 1 September 2018. Awards will be announced by 30 September 2018 and funds will be distributed shortly thereafter.

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Search includes content found within  pdf's of submitted project reports.

Blake-Nuttall Projects from previous years

Ornithological Exploration and Conservation of an Isolated Mountain Range in Northern Peru

Although ornithological exploration has a long history in the Neotropics, the sheer diversity and remoteness of much of the region have limited the study of its avifauna. To this end, many areas and species remain poorly or completely unknown. This is particularly true for the Amazonian and Andean regions of South America where ornithologists are…

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Examining Migration and Seasonal Interactions of Prairie Warblers Using Geolocators and Stable Isotope Analysis

We conducted a study in 2016 and 2017 on prairie warblers (Setophaga discolor), using geolocators to examine their migration and wintering locations. Our main objective was to track migrating prairie warblers from Massachusetts and New York to obtain novel data on wintering locations, migratory routes and schedules. A secondary objective was to examine relationships between…

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Mystery of the lowland Giant Hummingbirds (Patagona gigas) of central Chile

This study will identify where lowland Giant Hummingbirds winter (latitude and altitude) for the first time. Additionally, this research will begin to characterize the diversity of migratory and life history strategies within this ancient, monotypic lineage, which are unresolved in the literature. In doing so, I hope to provide clues about how differences in migratory...

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Landscape effects on habitat use and singing behavior by edge-breeding bird species in Massachusetts

Many Nearctic-Neotropic migrant songbirds are experiencing long-term population declines in North America due in part to habitat fragmentation on the breeding grounds.  However, bird responses to landscape-level complexity in the form of natural heterogeneity compared to habitat fragmentation is not well established.  In addition, little research has been conducted that links the landscape level and…

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Assessment of Golden Eagle Migration and Overwinter Activity in NH

Better information on seasonality and abundance patterns of GOEAs in New Hampshire could influence decisions about future wind development proposals and other natural resource management issues in the state.

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Initial Deployment of Archival Light-Level Geolocators on Northern Waterthrushes (Parkesia noveboracensis) at Jobos Bay, Puerto Rico

The effective conservation of long-distance migratory birds requires the identification and protection of the birds, nesting habitat as well as their stop-over and wintering habitats. This project provides the first implementation of archival light-level geolocator data logger technology by a Puerto Rican institution to study the migratory connectivity of Neotropical migratory birds in Puerto Rico…

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Feather Hydrogen Stable Isotopes Reveal Migratory and Interhabitat Connectivity of North American Wintering Songbirds in Coastal Secondary Dry Forest on the South Coast of Puerto Rico

This project was established to (1) support and develop a recently established academic program in ornithology and avian conservation (the only such effort in Puerto Rico); (2) employ mist netting, color banding census, stable isotopic analysis, light-level geolocators and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) (for Northern Waterthrushes (Parkesia noveboracensis) techniques to establish links between breeding and wintering…

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Long-term demographic changes in a Bicknell’s Thrush population

Bicknell’s Thrush is a species of the highest conservation concern and is the target of ongoing, multi-national conservation planning under the auspices of the International Bicknell’s Thrush Conservation Group. Although many aspects of the ecology of this species are well-understood, numerous information gaps persist that hinder the design and implementation of effective conservation practices and…

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Ornithological Assessment of Essex County Coastal Bird Islands

Beginning in January 2017 Mass Audubon implemented a project designed to assess avian breeding activity on 39 inshore islands located off Cape Ann, Essex County, Massachusetts. Collectively these islands comprise the Essex County Coastal Bird Islands Important Bird Area (IBA). The overall purpose and goals of the study were: Develop an understanding of past and current…

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Mystery of the lowland Giant Hummingbirds (Patagona gigas) of central Chile

Andean hummingbirds have narrow elevational distributions (500-1,500 m in amplitude) as a result of their specialized hemoglobin, which is genetically optimized to bind oxygen at low atmospheric pressures (Graham et al. 2009; Projecto-Garcia et al. 2013). As such, few elevational generalist hummingbird species exist. The Giant Hummingbird (Patagona gigas) – the largest hummingbird in the…

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Northern Saw-whet Owls in Arkansas: Where are they going?

The Northern Saw-whet Owl (hereafter saw-whet) has an extensive range through most of Canada and the northern U.S., as well as south into the Appalachian and Rocky Mountains (König et al. 1999). Little is known about this secretive species despite its widespread distribution. Its migration through the south-central U.S. has been recently discovered, occurring during…

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Determining Local and Broad-scale Movements of Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus) from New Hampshire

Since 2013, NHA conservation biologists have been collaborating with colleagues from BioDiversity Research Institute (BRI) and Stantec Consulting Services (Stantec) in a multi-year satellite telemetry project to better understand both local and broad-scale movement patterns of PEFAs nesting in rural settings near Iberdrola’s Groton Wind Farm located in Groton, NH (Stantec Consulting et al. 2016).…

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New Hampshire Bird Records Data Conversion

New Hampshire Audubon (NHA) independently collected and computerizing bird sightings from 1986 to 2009, at which point we began collaborating with eBird (Cornell Lab of Ornithology) to provide an on-line data entry system for these data. NHA has since been working to upload to eBird the 22 years of birding data comprising 188,778 records. We…

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Bank Swallow Conservation Outreach in New Hampshire

The original goal of this project was to develop outreach materials on Bank Swallow conservation that could be made available to river recreationalists (e.g. kayakers) using the rivers in New Hampshire where Bank Swallows are known to occur. Such outreach would also have included landowners whose properties abutted these same rivers, particularly near significant banks…

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American Kestrel geolocator tagging

Blake-Nuttall Funding has been used to procure light-level geolocators and to develop tools for trapping and tagging American Kestrels. Support from the Blake-Nuttall Fund made possible the creation of a Great Horned Owl taxidermy mount and custom Teflon ribbon leg-loop harnesses for geolocator attachment. Program Report: American Kestrel geolocator tagging

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How flexible is bird diet to resource variability during Fall migration?

Our objective in this study is to establish the degree of synchrony between the temporal patterns of bird migration, arthropod biomass, and fruit availability at Acadia National Park. Further, it is to establish whether birds consume fruit during fall migration and, if so, establish the principal frugivores, the fruit they consume, and how the pattern...

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Vegetation and Landscape Variables Predicting the Occurrence of Shrubland-Dependent Songbirds in Anthropogenic Shrublands

A total of $10,900 was received from the Blake-Nuttall Fund for the purpose of providing a field ornithological research opportunity for two University of New Hampshire (UNH) undergraduates during summer 2016. Students were to assist with bird surveys and vegetation measurements during the second year of a 2-year study investigating the distribution of eight focal...

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Shorebird Stopover Ecology and Habitat Use at Plymouth Bay, Massachusetts

Since the start of the project, with additional funds from the William P. Wharton Trust, we tagged a total of 73 SESA on Plymouth Beach over three fall migrations. Also with these funds, Manomet purchased a telemetry receiver station using a pair of 9-element Yagi PLC-1669 antennae which was erected on Plymouth Beach as part...

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Migratory and Interhabitat Connectivity of North American Songbirds on the South Coast of Puerto Rico II

During this season the Blake-Nuttall fund has provided continuing support for (1) a recently established academic program in ornithology and avian conservation (the only such effort in Puerto Rico); (2) employ mist netting, color banding, and stable isotopic analysis for multiple species and light-level geolocator deployment for Northern Waterthrushes (Parkesia noveboracensis) to establish links between...

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Influences of Habitat Fragmentation and Hurricane Damage on Wintering Songbirds in Belize

Many Nearctic-Neotropic migrant songbirds are experiencing long-term population declines in North America. These declines have been associated with habitat fragmentation on both the breeding and wintering grounds. However, landscape-level responses to habitat fragmentation by migratory songbirds during the winter period are not as thoroughly understood. In addition, research linking the landscape level to responses other...

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Bird Blow Flies and Rusty Blackbirds

Little is known about the ecology and phenology of P. shannoni. Existing data indicates that in eastern North America, this species most frequently infests open cup nests at least 3 m from the ground in forests dominated by deciduous trees, and American Robins (Turdus migratorius) are frequent hosts (Bennett and Whitworth 1992). Since Rusty Blackbirds...

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Adirondack Loons as an Environmental Educational Tool

The primary objective of this project was to hire an intern to assist BRI’s Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation with its outreach and conservation projects. A secondary objective was to provide an intern with a variety of outreach, communication, and data management skills that will be valuable in his or her future career.

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Assessment of Olive-sided Flycatcher (Contopus cooperi) Status and Distribution in New Hampshire

Current data suggests that the distribution of OSFL in New Hampshire is gradually retracting to the north. The species is all but absent from areas it formerly occupied in the southwestern portion of the state, and even where it was detected it may not occur regularly. In central New Hampshire, declines in southern areas are...

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Tern Vulnerability at Staging Grounds: Understanding Prey Availability

The Northwest Atlantic population of the Roseate Tern was listed as Endangered in 1987 under state and federal endangered species acts, and despite intensive efforts to protect birds at nesting colonies, has failed to meet recovery goals. Demographic analyses show that low recruitment of breeding birds is contributing to the population’s failure to thrive. Therefore,...

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Children’s Bird Art Exhibition – Museum of American Bird

The project successfully launched inaugural juried exhibition of bird art by children, to be installed at the Museum of American Bird Art (MABA) in the fall of 2016, and also displayed online at Mass Audubon’s website. In total, 51 artworks were submitted, from children throughout Massachusetts towns as well as Indiana, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania...

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New Hampshire Loon Recovery Plan: Year Five Final Report

In 2014, the fifth year of the Loon Recovery Plan’s implementation, Loon Preservation Committee staff and volunteers counted 289 pairs of loons on lakes in New Hampshire. Despite an impressive increase in numbers since LPC’s inception, loons remain a threatened species in the state and face growing challenges. Lead fishing tackle continues to be the...

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Common Nighthawk Productivity Research

New Hampshire Audubon’s Project Nighthawk has been monitoring Common Nighthawk nesting since 2007 in conjunction with a rooftop gravel nest patch experiment. Few nests are confirmed in New Hampshire each year and many are not successful, especially on rooftops. Reasons for nest failure are not yet known and often the inability to access a roof...

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Wintering Raptors of the Great Basin – Census and Banding Study 1985-2015

This report summarizes the results of the past four winter surveys (2012-2015), consisting of roadside census and banding activities conducted in four of the nine primary, known concentration areas in Utah and Nevada, with supplementary information derived from two other areas in two states. GIS maps of three of the higher counts are included in...

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Bringing Research on Adirondack Avifauna to the Scientific Community II: Birds, Climate Change, and Exurban Development in the Adirondack Park

The Wildlife Conservation Society was awarded a grant from the Nuttall Ornithological Club to assist us in bringing to publication 2 studies of the WCS Adirondack Program. These funds followed a prior grant for similar efforts to disseminate research on Adirondack birds through publication in the scientific literature and represent a continuation of our work to...

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Reproductive Behavior and Habitat Use of Threatened Golden-plumed Parakeets at Tapichalaca Reserve, Ecuador

My project sought to address major gaps in our understanding of L. branickii ecology, reproductive behavior, and natural history. Specifically, I aimed to: 1. Conduct a full-breeding season reproductive biology study in Ecuador to gain a better understanding of parakeet nest site selection and breeding biology, and; 2. Identify how Golden-plumed Parakeets utilize habitat in...

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Migratory and Interhabitat Connectivity of North American Wintering Songbirds on the South Coast of Puerto Rico

This project was established to (1) support and develop a recently established academic program in ornithology and avian conservation (the only such effort in Puerto Rico); (2) employ mist netting, color banding census, stable isotopic and light-level geolocator and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) (for Northern Waterthrushes (Parkesia noveboracensis) techniques to establish links between breeding and wintering...

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Can Vocal Playbacks Encourage Re-establishment of Breeding Eastern Meadowlarks on an Easily-Protected Massachusetts Grassland?

In the spring of 2015, Mass Audubon bird conservation staff conducted a preliminary experiment on the effectiveness of vocalization playbacks as a means of attracting Eastern Meadowlarks to now-vacant grassland areas that were historically occupied.

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Quantifying Dispersal Behavior of Hawaiian Gallinules to predict impacts of land use and climate change

The authors received $3000 from the Blake-Nuttall fund to support the 2015 summer field season studying the movement of the Hawaiian gallinule, an endangered, endemic wetland bird on the island of O`ahu, Hawai`i (USA). C. van Rees traveled to O`ahu on May 4, and remained there until July 22. During that time, 76 new individual...

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Protecting and Restoring Habitat for the Endangered Cochabamba Mountain-Finch with Local Communities

Thanks to the previous support of the Nuttall Ornithological Club, Armonía and ABC were able to establish in the community of Ch’aqui Potrero the first tree nursery where the Bolivian endemic Polylepis subtusalbida is being produced. This is the first, and therefore, the only tree nursery producing this native plant species which is threatened of…

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Massachusetts Important Bird Area (IBA) Program Signage Project

The Important Bird Area (IBA) Program – The IBA concept was developed in 1985 in England by BirdLife International as a model for prioritizing bird conservation areas around the world. In 1995 BirdLife partnered with the American Bird Conservancy and the National Audubon Society to launch the IBA Program in the United States. Mass Audubon...

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Interim Report on Assessment of Olive-sided Flycatcher Contopus cooperi Status and Distribution in New Hampshire – 2015 update

The Olive-sided Flycatcher surveys funded by the Nuttall Ornithological Club were originally intended to occur in 2014-15. However, because of lower than expected coverage in 2015, and sufficient funds to continue the project for another year, it will be extended into the 2016 field season. The report below contains the same introductory material as the...

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Interhabitat Connectivity of North American Wintering Songbirds on the South Coast of Puerto Rico

Among the effects of global warming will be sea level rise (SLR) that will bring about coastline transformation and impacts on low-lying coastal dry forest. This study has been conducted in the Jobos Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (JBNERR) on the eastern south coast of Puerto Rico. We conducted extensive mist netting at seven sites...

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Big Barn Study Sites 2012-2014

Expansion of Mass Audubon's Big Barn Study in 2014.

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Rusty Blackbird Migration Blitz Coordination

Following a highly successful Rusty Blackbird Winter Blitz in 2009-2011, the IRBWG initiated a continent-wide, three-year Rusty Blackbird Spring Migration Blitz (the Blitz) in 2014. This effort engages volunteer citizen scientists to help identify important stopover habitat along Rusty Blackbird migration routes. Support from the Blake-Nuttall Fund enabled us to promote the Blitz in New...

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Interim Report on Assessment of Olive-sided Flycatcher Status and Distribution in NH

Taken together, current data indicate a marked range retraction from the southwestern portion of New Hampshire (Figure 2), and potential losses in the central region. There was less effort in the latter in 2014 however, so more data are needed before making further conclusions. This project will continue into 2015, when effort will be directed...

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New Hampshire Bird Records Data Conversion 2013-2014

New Hampshire Audubon (NHA) began computerizing bird sightings in 1986 utilizing volunteers to enter reports into a database. In 2009, NHA changed to eBird as an on-line data entry system for New Hampshire bird sighting data. This improved the reporting framework, but the original NHA database that contains 22 years of birding data from 188,778...

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Lead and Line-free Lakes – Conservatuion of Adirondack Common Loons

This report summarizes the results of our “Lead and Line-Free Lake” outreach program in the Adirondack Park from the fall of 2013 through the summer of 2014. Support from the Blake-Nuttall Fund greatly enabled BRI’s Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation to better protect Common Loons and other wildlife within the Adirondack Park.

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Geolocator Data Reveal the Migration Route and Wintering Location of a Caribbean Martin (Progne dominicensis)

Caribbean Martins (Progne dominicensis) are common breeders on most Caribbean islands, where they regularly roost and nest in urban areas from February through August. However, from September through January, the basic ecology of this species—its migration and wintering locations—are largely unknown. In 2012, we deployed seven geolocators and, in 2014, recovered one geolocator from a...

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Assessing the Connectivity of White-breasted Thrasher (Ramphocinclus brachyurus) Populations

The White‐breasted Thrasher (Ramphocinclus brachyurus; WBTH) is restricted to three populations, two on St. Lucia and one on Martinique. The St. Lucian and Martinique populations are separated by ~80 km. The two St. Lucian populations (Northeast and Mandelé) are separated by only 4 km. Little is known about movement of individuals between these three areas;...

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Angry Birds: Songbirds, Noise, and Exurban Development

Our NSF study examines the effects of exurban development on avian communities in two structurally different habitat types (interior forest and shrubland/grassland mosaic) in the Adirondack Park of upstate New York and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem of southwestern Montana. The goal of this research is to examine how individual land ethics, and land‐use decisions, operating within...

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New Hampshire Bird Records Data Conversion (2012-2013)

New Hampshire Audubon (NHA) began computerizing bird sightings in 1986 utilizing volunteers to enter reports into a database. In 2009, NHA changed to eBird as an on-line data entry system for New Hampshire bird sighting data. This improved the reporting framework, but the original NHA database that contains 22 years of birding data from 188,778...

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Methane Burner Impacts on Raptors

Burners located in favorable habitat can be problematic to birds. Birds perched on, or flying near, a stack can be seriously injured or killed when a flare suddenly ignites. In some cases, birds may fly over or even through an almost invisible burner flame. If a bird survives such an encounter, its burned feathers may...

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Severe Decline of Threatened Plovers at Bahía de Ceuta, Sinaloa, Mexico

Wetlands in Northwest Mexico provide critical habitat for both migrating and resident shorebirds. Bahía de Ceuta (23°54’N, 106°57’W) is a coastal wetland with high biodiversity located in Sinaloa, Mexico. We monitored the nest habitat selection and reproductive success of three ground nesting bird species that use Bahía de Ceuta for reproduction: Snowy Plover Charadrius nivosus,...

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Barn Owl population dynamics on Nantucket, a remote island at the northern limit of the species’ range

Global climate change has allowed species’ ranges to change and is responsible for unpredictable weather events that affect these species. We used population trends of the Barn Owl, Tyto alba, on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts to correlate nesting success with severe winter weather. Of the past twenty five winters, five had colder average temperatures and more snow...

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Snowy Owl Satellite Telemetry Project, Winter 2011-2012

The snowy owl season for this year from November 2011 through May 2012 was a great one. We banded a total of 52 snowy owls and recaptured an owl we had banded two years ago. Of the owls banded 42 were captured at Logan Airport, 29 were released at Duxbury Beach and 13 released at...

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New Hampshire Swallow Colony Registry

Project Reports: New Hampshire Swallow Colony Registry, September 2011 through August 2012 New Hampshire Swallow Colony Registry, October 2010 through September 2011 Swallow CORE Newsletter Spring 2012 Cliff Swallow nest poster

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The New Hampshire Loon Recovery Plan: Concept Paper and Year Three Progress Report

The Loon Preservation Committee (LPC) was created in 1975 because of concerns about dramatic declines in New Hampshire’s loon population. The Committee consists of a network of dedicated individuals who work to further the organization’s mission of restoring and maintaining a viable population of loons throughout New Hampshire; monitoring the health and productivity of loons...

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Forest Fragmentation Effects on Ovenbird Populations in the Urban Region of Eastern Massachusetts, USA

We compared pairing and reproductive success of ovenbirds (Seiurus aurocapilla) in three large (120‒312 hectare) and nine small (10‒60 hectare) forest reserves in a suburban landscape over six years and related ovenbird success to patch-scale and landscape-scale features. We applied estimates of ovenbird reproductive success to population viability models and compared results with those of...

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Nest Success Rates of Four Shrubland Specialists in Conservation-managed Fields with Comparisons to Other Managed and Unmanaged Shrublands

Shrubland birds are disturbance dependent species and are experiencing population declines of 1–3%/year rangewide. In our study, we determined nest success rates of four shrubland species, Blue-winged Warbler (Vermivora pinus), Prairie Warbler (Dendroica discolor), Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea), and Field Sparrow (Spizella pusilla), at Bent of the River Audubon Center, Southbury, Connecticut, USA. Field sites...

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Nocturnal Activity of Nesting Shrubland and Grassland Passerines

Nocturnal behaviors and sleep patterns of nesting passerines remain largely undocumented in the field and are important to understanding responses to environmental pressures such as predation. We used nocturnal video recordings to describe activity and quantify behaviors of females with nestlings of four shrubland bird species and three grassland bird species (n 19 nests). Among...

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Baseline avian survey of the North Rupununi River, Region 9, Guyana

The purpose of this eight day avian survey of the North Rupununi River in Guyana, South America, was to provide important baseline data on bird abundance, species richness and composition for this relatively unstudied and largely pristine region which is subject to a multitude of pressures across spatial and temporal scales. Two of us (DCM,...

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Wintering Raptors of the Great Basin – Census and Banding Study 1985-2011

Since 1985, Principal Investigator (PI) Al Hinde has conducted a roadside census and banding study of wintering raptors in the Great Basin. Initially, this project was limited to northeastern Nevada and was intended to augment knowledge of regional raptor ecology derived from HawkWatch International’s (HWI) long-term migration study in the Goshute Mountains of northeastern Nevada...

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Testing the Role of Patch Openness as a Causal Mechanism for Apparent Area Sensitivity in a Grassland Specialist

Area sensitivity, species being disproportionately present on larger habitat patches, has been identified in many taxa. We propose that some apparently area-sensitive species are actually responding to how open a habitat patch is, rather than to patch size. We tested this hypothesis for Bobolinks (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) by comparing density and occupancy to a novel openness...

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Breeding Ecology and Mating System of the Canada Warbler in New Hampshire

The primary objective of the past field season with support from Nuttal was to explain the mechanisms responsible for Canada warbler reproductive success, and the pattern of that success over years, among age classes, and at several spatial scales. We are measuring reproductive success at the level of individuals in the context of populations. We...

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Effects of Controlled Burns on Breeding Bird Species and Density in Myles Standish SF

Myles Standish State Forest (MSSF) and adjacent natural areas comprise one of the three largest remaining Pitch Pine (Pinus rigida)/Scrub Oak (Quercus ilicifolia) ecosystems in the world, providing essential habitat to many species of rare and threatened plants, invertebrates and vertebrates. In particular, MSSF provides core breeding habitat for three bird species which are rapidly...

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Song Performance and Social Mate Choice in Prairie Warblers

I am testing the prediction that female warblers prefer males whose singing is highly consistent, singing in which successive songs differ very little. I have previously found evidence of such a female preference in Chestnutsided Warblers (Dendroica pensylvanica), and during the breeding season of 2010, I collected data to determine whether a similar preference is...

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Conservation through Appreciation: Birds as Winged Ambassadors for Caribbean Conservation

Conservation of nature begins with education—an understanding and awareness of our dependence on intact ecosystems and an appreciation for the many values of biodiversity. We proposed to build on two very successful outreach and education programs of the SCSCB and continuing development of a third education program on migratory birds. The overall goal of these...

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Identifying Rusty Blackbird Foraging Habitat in New Hampshire

In 2006, New Hampshire Audubon initiated surveys of documented Rusty Blackbird breeding sites in Pittsburg, the State’s northernmost township, where the highest density of documented breeding sites occurred. This effort documented Rusty Blackbirds at only three (13%) of the 23 historic sites surveyed. Birders observed the species at four additional New Hampshire locations that year,...

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Whip-poor-will Territory Mapping at Two New Hampshire Sites

The Eastern Whip-poor-will (EWPW, Caprimulgus vociferus) has been declining across its range for decades. Habitat loss or maturation has been proposed as an important factor behind these declines, since EWPWs require a mix of open habitat for foraging and forested habitat for nesting. To better understand the potential effects of habitat management on Whip-poor-will populations...

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Evaluating mechanisms for area sensitivity in density and occupancy in Bobolinks (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) in Massachusetts

We are studying habitat selection by grassland birds. Specifically, we are addressing the question of why there are fewer grassland birds per unit area present on small fields relative to large fields. Understanding the mechanism of this process is important for conservation, as it will either underscore the importance of preserving large fields or provide...

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Community Interaction Initiative: Creating Balance for People and Birds

Project Report: Aya’s Home

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The Squam Lake Loon Initiative: Progress Report (September, 2010)

The Squam Lake Loon Initiative begun in 2007 is an increased monitoring, research, management and outreach effort to: 1. Determine the overall survival and reproductive success of Squam’s remaining loon population; 2. Assess causes of nest failure and collect inviable eggs from failed nests for analysis of a wide range of contaminants and pathogens; 3....

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Migratory Double Breeding in Neotropical Migrant Birds

Neotropical migratory songbirds typically breed in temperate regions and then travel long distances to spend the majority of the annual cycle in tropical wintering areas. Using stable-isotope methodology, we provide quantitative evidence of dual breeding ranges for 5 species of Neotropical migrants. Each is well known to have a Neotropical winter range and a breeding...

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Investigating Rusty Blackbird Breeding Habitat in New Hampshire

Populations of Rusty Blackbirds (Euphagus carolinus) have been declining steadily for nearly a century, with the steepest declines occurring over the past few decades. Potential causes of these declines include habitat loss and degradation on breeding grounds, migration stop-over sites, and wintering areas; competition with other blackbird species, increased nest mortality associated with timber harvesting;...

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Wintering Raptors of the Great Basin

Since 1985, Principal Investigator (PI) Al Hinde has conducted a roadside census and banding study of wintering raptors in the Great Basin. Initially, this project was limited to northeastern Nevada and was intended to augment knowledge of regional raptor ecology derived from HawkWatch International’s (HWI) long-term migration study in the Goshute Mountains of northeastern Nevada...

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The Energetics and Stopover Ecology of Neotropical Migrant Passerines in an Urban Park

Due to the overlap of the Atlantic Flyway with some of the most urbanized regions of North America, the habitats remaining within cities may play an important role in bird migration. Yet, the use of urban parks by migrating birds is currently poorly understood. To determine if an urban habitat is serving as a suitable...

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Take a Second Look (TASL): 25 Years and Counting

Take a Second Look (TASL) Boston Harbor winter bird counts have been a part of the Greater Boston birding scene for a quarter century. TASL is what local birders do in November, when the masses of sea birds finally arrive in the Harbor. And TASLing is the way to pass the winter months, after the...

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