n addition to the broad and exciting field of avian migration, I am also interested in a variety of other subjects. These interests revolve around questions such as:

How do birds find / choose suitable habitat in a fragmented environment, especially those that exhibit site-fidelity?  How is breeding success compromised when site-fidelity isn’t fulfilled?

What are the factors involved in habitat selection by grassland birds in “restored” environments?  This intrigues me as a result of an  independent study I completed.   A state park I worked at in northern Illinois, Glacial Park, contained much “restored” prairie and savannah (previously agricultural and pasture land). Here, I observed that the grassland birds (Ammodramus savannarum , Passerculus sandwichensis, Sturnella magna, Dolichonyx oryzivorus) did not appear to use the native, replanted vegetation (e.g., Andropogan spp., Pannicum spp., Silphium spp.) for nesting whereas they did use the non-native vegetation (e.g., Agropyron sp., Bromus sp.)  Other studies with grassland birds have found similar results as well. 

Many Nearctic-Neotropical migrants are dependent to some extent on winter flocks.  Given the extent of habitat alteration / fragmentation in the Neotropics, I question how habitat alteration and fragmentation influence flocking ecology and to what extent does this anthropogenic change contribute to population limitation?





The University of Southern Mississippi. Last modified: 24 February, 2007 . Questions and Comments?
URL: http://www.usm.edu/mbrg/Sheri_interests.htm