Current Research on Species at Risk: Birds

Spruce Grouse

The Spruce Grouse is a forest dwelling bird that dwells in coniferous forests throughout the northern regions of North America. Recent evidence suggests that the spruce grouse is declining across its range in New York State. A better understanding of the habitat that this species relies on is necessary to prevent future declines as forests in this region change over time. Project: Spruce Grouse Distribution, Movements, and Habitat Selection: A Mid-Successional Species in an Aging Landscape Summary: In this study, I examined the influence of habitat structure and composition on the distribution and movements of spruce grouse. I surveyed previously occupied Read more about this research…

Rusty blackbird

The Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus; RUBL) experienced one of the most significant declines ever documented among a once-common North American bird. Recent research on RUBLs has yielded information about the basic ecology of this understudied coniferous wetland breeder, but the critical factors responsible for their precipitous decline (> -90%) and their failure to recover remain unknown. One factor may be an “ecological trap” where birds nest in regenerating logged areas adjacent to wetlands (Powell et al. 2010) and are exposed to disproportionately high nest predation compared to wetlands in unharvested forest. Timber harvest likely affects abundance and diversity of nest Read more about this research…