Cliff swallows and the extended phenotype

            Some birds prefer to build nests in trees or simply nest in tree cavities. One species, in particular, prefers to build a nest out of mud on the side of an outhouse. Searching along the banks of a river for mud may sound like a dirty job. However, if... Continue Reading →


Changing heron behavior?

By Lindstedt and Gazaille Last fall, we began a research project that involved studying the behavior of the Great Blue Heron and it’s nesting habitat. We have made several trips to what is known as “Heron Island” on Lake Norman. Our first objective was to record baseline data, which included counting the nests in each... Continue Reading →

Bird diversity

By Monroe, Ellis, Dufresne *This is a follow-up to the previous post Surprisingly, many bird species populate the Statesville, NC area. Currently we are taking an inventory of bird species along a section of a greenway trail. We are conducting a point count, which means we are traveling to four locations along our greenway transect.... Continue Reading →

Human/Crow Commensalism?

Some local observations and a quick survey got us thinking about a possible link between increasing bird populations and urbanization. First of all, we have noticed from being outside conducting research the last four years, the crows have seemed to increase each year. Since this was just subjective “data,” we decided to do some investigating.... Continue Reading →

Crow Behavior

One research group is currently researching and documenting crow behavior. The first question of this study is, "Do crows feel more comfortable eating in groups?" Students will observe groups of crows and individual crows as they are eating and measure how many times per minute an individual crow raises its head and scans (scanning rate).... Continue Reading →

Chick update

We have been collecting data on the owl nest the past couple of weeks. The owl seemed to have two chicks three weeks ago, but now there is only one chick. This chick seems to be growing rapidly and looks really healthy. One thing we have noticed is that when the female gets spooked from... Continue Reading →

Owl Chicks and last couple of weeks

We were finally able to see at least two great horned chicks on 22 March 2013. They are probably a couple of weeks old , but because of the height of the nest, they are within our sight range as they look over the nest. We were able to get a couple of pictures. However,... Continue Reading →

Too Much Disturbance

It is too early to know for sure, but there is a good chance that the great horned owl pair may soon abandon the nest that they have used for the past four years. What is most troubling is the fact that there are already eggs (maybe chicks) in the nest. We were hopeful for... Continue Reading →

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