Understanding the effects of urban noise, light, and landscape on bird behavior.

Who we study

American Robins are one of the most proliferate bird species in urban habitats. Their ability to survive in a variety of environments make them a great species to study why and how they are able to survive and even thrive. 

Why bird song?

  Bird songs are sexy weapons! Birds use their songs to attract mates, defend territories, and warn off unwanted visitors. Their songs are crucial for  survival. I study bird song because ultimately, I am interested in how American Robins are able to survive so well in cities. I plan to connect the quality of their songs to their reproductive output, which is why I need your help! This field season I will be monitoring nests and survival of nestlings. Because I work in urban areas, many of these nests are in your backyard! If  you would like to be a part of this study, and contribute to science, check out my get involved page or click the link below to report a nest!   

Spectrogram of American Robin song recorded in 2018 in Weld County, CO

Noise, Light, and Landscape

Do you ever want to get away from the city heat, the noise and the lights? Lucky for us humans, we can pack up and head out for a camping trip to see the stars and listen to the sounds of creeks babbling and insects humming. Well if humans notice the heat, noise and the light, have you ever wondered if wildlife do? Scientists are just barely beginning to understand the effects of human-caused changes in environments on wildlife.  I have partnered with the National Parks Service, Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division to investigate the effects of these characteristics on American Robins bird song behaviors and reproductive output.