Nest ecology of bluebirds across land cover types
September 2019 - October 2024
- Brett Degregorio, Principal Investigator
- Sarah Durant, Co-Principal Investigator
- Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
The charismatic bluebird is a ubiquitous box-nester across much of the Eastern United States. However, it has yet to be explored how this species alters its behavior and ecology depending on where it nests. For instance, how do bluebirds nesting in agricultural landscapes differ from those nesting in prairies or suburbs? Understanding these patterns in behavior and nest survival can inform management plans for this charismatic songbird and provide valuable information for how a widespread habitat generalist responds to local stressors and pressures. Working with University of Arkansas's Dr. Sarah DuRant and with the help from the University of Arkansas Agricultural Department, Northwest Arkansas's Land Trust, and the city of Fayetteville, we are exploring the differences in growth, survival, thermal environment, and nest predators for bluebirds nesting in a variety of landscapes across Northwest Arkansas. We believe that the bluebird will be in important indicator of ecosystem health and by examining the species' response to different factors can better understand how a generalist species adapts to its local environment.