Radio Telemetry Study of Avian Habitat Use
My advisor, collaborators, and I used radio telemetry to track the movements and habitat use American Robins (Turdus migratorius) and Cedar Waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum) in the sweet cherry orchards of northwest Michigan. Agricultural systems have important implications for avian foraging by manipulating the availability of food for wildlife. Birds often utilize resource rich-foraging patches, such as fruit orchards, resulting in conflicts with fruit producers and wildlife managers. By investigating foraging patterns of fruit-eating birds in and around orchards, we can identify particularly important crop-consuming birds and potentially vulnerable crops or growing periods.
Avian Foraging Behavior and Multi-scale Resource Variation
I study bird foraging behavior in sweet cherry orchards and aim to evaluate how fruit abundance and distribution across spatial scales influences foraging behaviors. This research will lead to a more robust understanding of foraging behavior by studying sociality, species foraging variation, and multi-scale food availability in an integrated way.
Bioenergetic and Economic Models of Avian Fruit Consumption
Loss of fruit crops to birds is a long-standing and costly problem. Behavioral and ecological information about birds that utilize and damage crop resources is limited. This has hindered the development of successful damage-mitigation strategies. I use behavioral, physiological and demographic data to evaluate the extent of avian depredation of cherry crops, quantify economic losses, and thus inform damage mitigation efforts.