I use a variety of data collection techniques.
I capture birds in nets:
I band them using aluminum USFWS bands and on some species I also use combinations of unique colorbands:
I collect physiological and morphological data:
It is easy to assess fat load in a living bird. Most bird's skin is translucent, so when you blow on the feathers of their abdomen, you see something like the picture on the right below. Note that you are looking through the skin at breast muscle (red) and fat stores (tan). This bird was released unharmed. I then release them, hoping to recapture and collect additional data on them at a later date.
I also find and monitor nests, collecting data on eggs, growing nestlings and microhabitat preference for nest placement:
I also collect data on territory vegetation and arthropods (bird food):
- Research Interests
- Undergraduate Researchers
- Dr. Robert J. Smith
- Department of Biology
- Loyola Science Center 252
- Scranton, PA 18510
- The University of Scranton
- Phone: (570) 941-6581