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Steller's Sea Eagle Haliaeetus pelagicus. Photo by Rishad Naoroji. Raptor Research & Conservation Foundation.

Steller’s Sea Eagle Haliaeetus pelagicus.
Photo by Rishad Naoroji. Raptor Research & Conservation Foundation.

  • Ben Dudek presented a thesis defense on Thursday, April 27, 2017, at 3 p.m.  The thesis is titled “The Role of Disease and Ectoparasites in the Ecology of Nestling Golden Eagles.”
  • Bio 497/597 – Eastern African Raptors.  This class was offered 1/2/17 – 1/10/17.  The class is designed for students with an interest in the ecology and conservation of East African raptors.  The class has both a lecture and field research format.  Classes take place at Lake Naivasha (3 days) and Masai Mara National Park (4 days).  Daily lectures focus on African raptor ecology and conservation issues threatening their populations, and field work includes surveys of the raptor communities in the parks.  During surveys, elephants, lions, giraffes, zebra, impala, wildebeest, and water buffalo are frequently seen as well as Secretary Birds and Ostriches.  The course is a unique opportunity and an unforgettable experience for students.  Read the article by Kathleen Tuck.  Read more about the Kenya project and view the amazing photographs by BSU photographer John Kelly.
  • Study Shows Climate Affecting Avian Breeding Habits:  Milder winters have led to earlier growing seasons and noticeable effects on the breeding habits of some predatory birds, according to research by Boise State biologists Shawn Smith and Julie Heath, in collaboration with Karen Steenhof, and The Peregrine Fund’s Christopher McClure. Their work was recently published in the Journal of Animal Ecology under the title “Earlier nesting by generalist predatory bird is associated with human responses to climate change.”  Visit https://news.boisestate.edu/update/2016/11/22/study-shows-climate-affecting-avian-breeding-habits/ for the Update story by Kathleen Tuck.
  • Rob Miller, a graduate of the Master of Science in Raptor Biology program at Boise State University, delivered a keynote address at the Wyoming Citizen Science Conference, which was held December 1-2 in Laramie, Wyoming. The conference was aimed at non-scientists around the state who are involved in scientific programs. If a scientist needs help conducting fieldwork, enlisting the help of volunteer citizen scientists can be a great resource. Miller is currently leading two citizen science projects. Learn more at http://www.wyomingbiodiversity.org/programs/wcsc/.
  • Tempe Regan presented a thesis defense on Friday, October 28, 1-2 p.m. in the MPCB (Multi-Purpose Classroom Building), Room 106.  The thesis is titled “Barn Owls Crossing the Road: Examining Interplay Between Occupancy, Behavior and Roadway Mortality in Southern Idaho.”
  • Erin Arnold presented a thesis defense on Thursday, June 16, at 2 p.m., in the Education Building, Room 110.  The thesis is titled “Correlates of Barn Owl (Tyto alba) Roadway Mortality and Characteristics of Mortality Hotspots along Interstates 84 and 86 in Idaho.”
  • New Research Shows Owls’ Ability to Hunt Impaired by Noise ~ The study by Jesse Barber, assistant professor of biology at Boise State University, and Tate Mason, Boise State alumnus and education coordinator for The Peregrine Fund, is the first to examine the impact of noise on a predatory bird. Their findings were recently published in the journal Biological Conservation under the title “Anthropogenic noise impairs owl hunting behavior.”
  • Photo of the Week – May 25      (Photo by John Kelly):

Two vultures collide in the air above Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique, Africa. Photo by John Kelly.

Two vultures collide in the air above Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique, Africa. Photo by John Kelly.

  • John Kelly, manager of photographic services, was on assignment in Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique, Africa, with Dr. Marc Bechard, the Director of Boise State University’s Raptor Research Center, and Greg Kaltenecker, Executive Director of Boise State’s Intermountain Bird Observatory, in May 2016. A team of raptor biologists trapped vultures in Gorongosa National Park. Of the five vulture species found in Gorongosa, four are listed on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List as endangered or critically endangered. They were accompanied by a National Geographic film crew while in the park.  See photos and read the story by Kathleen Tuck.
  • Work by biologist Julie Heath was featured in an article in The Birding Wire, a service of the Outdoor Wire Digital Network.  Read the story and the article.
  • Bryce Robinson presented a thesis defense on Tuesday, April 19, 10-11:30 a.m., in the Riverfront Hall Building (RFH), Room 312.  The thesis is titled “Gyrfalcon Diet on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska: Assessing Important Factors in Maintaining Population Stability in the Context of a Changing World.”
  • Dr. Marc Bechard, Director of the Raptor Research Center, was the featured speaker at a Brown Bag event on April 12, 2016, at the Bishop Barnwell Room in the Student Union Building.  The title of the presentation was “What Satellite-tracked Turkey Vultures and Hooded Vultures Have Taught Us about Their Movement in Ecology.”  Further information.
  • Anna Autilio presented a thesis defense at 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 7, 2016, in the Education Building, Room 110.  The thesis is titled “Gang Behavior at Carcasses in Wintering Striated Caracaras (Phalcoboenus Australis) in the Falkland Islands.”
  • Shawn Smith presented a thesis defense titled “Earlier Nesting by a Predatory Bird is Associated with Human Adapations to Climate Change,” on Tuesday, March 29, 2016, 3-4:15 p.m., in the Education Building (EDU) Room 110.
  • Skyler Wysocki presented a thesis proposal on Tuesday, March 15, 2016, 3:00-4:15 p.m. in the Educational Building (EDU) Room 110.
  • The 2016 issue of Boise State Explore magazine focuses on environmental discovery and highlights some of the depth and breadth of the research in ecology, evolution and behavior being conducted at Boise State University. In addition to the print version, the first-ever online companion to the magazine is now available online at focus.boisestate.edu, featuring expanded content, videos and additional photos.  The issue features several articles focusing on research pertaining to raptors and raptor biology:

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  • Christine Hayes presented a thesis proposal on Tuesday, January 19, 2016, titled Avian Myiasis and the Conservation of the Critically Endangered Ridgway’s Hawk of Hispaniola.
  •  Christopher Porterfield presented a thesis defense at 3 p.m., Wednesday, January 13, 2016, in Riverfront Hall Building (RFH), Room 102A. The thesis is titled Pheomelanin pigment is not an indicator of feather corticosterone content in diurnal migratory raptors in Idaho.

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  • Student Presentations Earn National Awards

    Two Boise State University Raptor Biology students recently were recognized with the William C. Andersen Memorial Award from the Raptor Research Foundation at the 2015 annual meeting held in Sacramento, California, in early November. The award is for the best student oral and poster presentations.

    Tempe Regan, master’s student in raptor biology, won the William C. Anderson Memorial Award for best student oral presentation for her paper titled “Barn owls crossing the road: Examining interplay between occupancy, behavior and roadway mortality in southern Idaho.”

    Claire Nellis, Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in Raptor Research undergraduate at Boise State in Summer 2015, attending Paul Smith’s College in New York, received the award for best student poster presentation for her paper titled “Physiological and behavioral effects of ectoparasites: Does being bugged cause stress in burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia hypugaea)?”

    “We are fortunate to attract many talented students to the field of raptor biology at Boise State University, and it’s exciting to see their research recognized like this by the scientific community. It speaks volumes about the hard work of the students and the academic preparation they receive in our programs,” said Jim Belthoff, professor of biological sciences who worked with both students as part of Boise State’s REU in Raptor Research, funded by the National Science Foundation.

    Boise State was well represented at the conference with many outstanding student and professional presentations.

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  • Sara Pourzamani presented a proposal seminar at 1 p.m., Friday, December 11, 2015, in ILC Room 118. The proposal seminar was titled Assessment of Nest Defense and Alarm Calling in Burrowing Owls.
  • Benjamin Dudek presented a seminar titled The Role of Trichomonas gallinae and Hematophagous Ectoparasites in Golden Eagle Nesting Ecology on Tuesday, October 20, 2015, at 3 p.m. in the ILC Room 118.
  • Dr. Jim Belthoffs research on burrowing owls was featured in Wired magazine. The story talks about the fleas that infest the birds and their burrows, and which can carry the bacteria that causes plague. Belthoff’s work shows that the owls appear to be immune to the ailment, which presents the opportunity to test if the owls could protect humans from plague. Read the full story (and watch a video) here: http://www.wired.com/2015/10/adorable-owls-will-not-kill-plague/#slide-6
  • Rob Spaul, MS-Raptor Biology, 2015, was quoted in a story in Atlas Obscura about how the fate of the sage grouse could affect the future of conservation. Spaul responded to the belief that the future of the bird is in the “pocket of powerful industries like coal, gas and wind” in an article titled The Fate of this Funny-Looking Bird may be the Future of Conservation.
  • Rob Spaul, MS-Raptor Biology, 2015, was interviewed for an article titled “Here’s what goes on inside a forest when a massive wildfire hits” for AtlasObscura.comRead more …
  • Alexandra (Allie) Anderson, MS-Raptor Biology, 2014, has been awarded Boise State University’s Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award for her thesis “Population Response to Climate Change: Wintering Strategy Has Carryover Effects on the Timing of Nest Initiation and Mate Choice in a Partial Migrant, the American Kestrel (Falco sparverius).”  Since 2008, the Graduate College has recognized the achievements of Boise State University graduate students with the Distinguished Thesis Award. The award is given based upon four criteria: originality, significance, quality, and outcomes from the thesis.(Visit ScholarWorks for the abstract and information on the full text of this thesis.)
  • Robert Spaul gave a Thesis Defense on Thursday, May 7, 2015, at 10 a.m. in the Student Union Building, Alexander Room.  The Thesis Defense was titled “Recreation Disturbance to a Shrub-Steppe Raptor: Biological Consequences, Behavioral Mechanisms and Management Implications.”
  • Osher Institute Awards Grants for Faculty Research to Julie Heath and Matt Kohn, biological sciences and geosciences, for the research project “Using Stable Isotopes in Claws to Distinguish Between Migratory and Non-migratory (resident) American Kestrels.””There is increasing evidence that climate change, habitat loss and other environmental changes are impacting migratory birds. In some species, like American kestrels, some of the individuals migrate and some individuals do not. These species provide excellent opportunities for comparative studies between migratory and non-migratory birds to learn about the costs and benefits of migration. Unfortunately, when researchers capture a bird in the breeding season, it is not possible to identify whether the bird migrated, and spent the previous winter elsewhere, or did not migrate and remained on the breeding grounds year round. Heath and Kohn are collaborating to develop a tool that will distinguish between birds that migrate away from their breeding grounds for the winter, and birds that stay on their breeding grounds all year round. They propose to measure ratios of hydrogen stable isotopes in small claw samples collected from American kestrels. Ratios of hydrogen stable isotopes in rain vary with latitude and are incorporated into living tissues through the food chain. Birds that migrate should have different hydrogen stable isotope ratios compared to birds that did not migrate. Funding from the Osher award will support a student working in the Isotope Lab to analyze samples collected in the field over the past 2 years.”
  • Research: Mitigation Efforts Benefit Greater Sage-Grouse  This article is co-authored by Laura Bond, bioinformatics coordinator in Boise State’s Biomolecular Research Center; Mark Fuller, former Raptor Research Center Director and USGS emeritus scientist; and researchers with the USGS and Big Horn Environmental Consultants. It is the first to look at the application of science-based on-site mitigation techniques and sage-grouse nest survival in the Intermountain West.  Visit Boise State University’s ScholarWorks for the full text of this publication.

Erin Pikcilingis with a Barn Owl (Tyto alba)

Erin Pikcilingis with a Barn Owl (Tyto alba)

  • Erin Pikcilingis, a master’s student in the raptor biology program, was awarded the honor of “Best Student Poster” by the Idaho Chapter of the Wildlife Society for her poster depicting “How Spatial, Geometric, And Biotic Features Of Roads Affect Vehicular Collisions With Barn Owls (Tyto alba) Along Interstate 84 in Southern Idaho.”
  • Matt Stuber gave a Thesis Defense on Tuesday, March 31, 2015, from 8:30-9:30 a.m. in Education Building 521.  The Thesis Defense was titled “Ecotoxicological Risk and Exposure: A Comparison of Western Burrowing Owls Nesting in Agricultural and Non-Agricultural Areas in the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area.
  • Tate Mason gave a Thesis Defense on Thursday, January 29, 2015, from 1:30 – 2:45 p.m. in the Multi-purpose Building Room 101. The Thesis Defense is titled “The impact of anthropogenic noise on Northern Saw-Whet owl (Aegolius acadius) hunting behavior.
  • The following poster sessions were presented by Boise State University students at the North American Ornithology Conference in Estes Park, CO, in September 2014:
    • The effect of climate change on available resources for American kestrels (Falco sparverius) in southwestern Idaho. Presented by S.H. Smith
    • Do resident American kestrels (Falco sparverius) maintain territories and pair-bonds year-round in southwestern Idaho?  Presented by M. Henderson (an undergraduate)
    •  The effects of off-highway recreation on the breeding ecology of a shrub-steppe raptor. Presented by R. Spaul
  • Elizeth Cinto Mejia, a BSU graduate student, gave a thesis proposal on Friday, December 12, 2014, from 1:30-2:45 p.m. in the Multipurpose Building Rm 101. The seminar was titled “The Phantom Gas Field:  An experiment on the effects of natural gas extraction noise on wildlife.
  • Sara Pourzamani, a BSU Undergraduate student, gave a research presentation on Friday, December 5th, 2014 from 1:30-2:45 pm in Multipurpose Rm 101.The presentation was titled “Characteristics of Predator Visits to Burrowing Owl Nests in the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area (NCA), Idaho.”
  • Micky Reeves, from Falklands Conservation, Falkland Islands, gave a seminar on Wednesday, October 1, 2014, from 1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. in the Multipurpose Building, Room 101.  The seminar was titled “New insights into the biology of the striated caracara on the Falkland Islands.”
  • Where in the World? Tarifa, Spain
    The Raptor Research Center and the Intermountain Bird Observatory work with Fundacion Migres on an exciting international migration project in Spain! Hundreds of thousands of raptors migrate from Europe across the Mediterranean Sea at the Strait of Gibraltar. Learn about Boise State University’s collaborative research at the Strait of Gibraltar, Spain.Raptor Biologist and Raptor Research Center Director, Dr. Marc Bechard, and Intermountain Bird Observatory Executive Director, Greg Kaltenecker, discuss the relationship between Fundacion Migres and Boise State on this YouTube:  Boise State University Raptor Research in Tarifa, SpainSee also the Photo of the Week – September 15 and share in the experience of visiting Tarifa, Spain, and volunteering with the wildlife monitoring program with Fundacion Migres.Read BSU raptor biology grad Rob Miller’s blog for updates on the research work being done on the international migration project in Spain with Fundacion Migres.
  • Photo of the Week – July 24:  Undergraduate students participating in the National Science Foundation’s Research Experience for Undergraduates Sites program took a field trip to the Sugarloaf area of Lake Cascade to band ospreys. Boise State is host to the REU Site in Raptor Research and the home of the nation’s only master’s degree program in raptor biology.  Enjoy the experience with the video!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlOAYllzQ0E&feature=youtu.be
  •  A story on burrowing owl research by Dr. Jim Belthoff was rerun on NPR’s “Living on Earth” webpage. The story includes the audio as well as a number of images from a nest camera. Listen here. To see the transcript and photos, click on the photo.
  • Golden Eagle Observation – Off-highway vehicle activity has increased on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands nationwide, and specifically in southwestern Idaho. Human disturbances can cause golden eagle nest site abandonment or reproductive failure. In support of an adaptive management program with the BLM, Boise State raptor biology graduate student Rob Spaul examines golden eagle territory occupancy, nest site behavior and nest productivity, in relation to off-highway vehicle recreational activity and trail density.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxYHoAIUoic&feature=youtu.be
  • Burrowing Owl Field Research ~ Boise State University is an official National Science Foundation-sponsored Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) site in raptor research.  Participants include Boise State students and students from across the country who are pursuing several research projects focused on raptors.  In this video, REU students are studying burrowing owls with Boise State professor Jim Belthoff:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKSDAlll1Dc&feature=youtu.be
  • Golden Eagle Field Research ~ Raptor Biologist Marc Bechard assists US Fish and Wildlife Service researchers in applying satellite tracking transmitters to Golden Eagle nestlings:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEnmD6hEfhw
  • Raptor Biologists Return Golden Eagles to Nest ~ Biologists and graduate students from the Raptor Research Center at Boise State University work with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service researchers to attach radio transmitters to Golden Eagles in Malad Gorge State Park.  The USFWS is conducting a five-year western region study of the movement ecology of immature Golden Eagles.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrgqLhi9Oxg
  • Graduate Robert Miller’s Project of the Year:  The Northern Goshawk.  Visit Rob’s blog at Rob’s Idaho Perspective.
  • Neil Paprocki, a 2013 graduate of the Raptor Biology master’s degree program at Boise State University, has produced and directed a film entitled Bluebird ManBluebird Man is a half-hour documentary film about bluebird conservation and citizen science.  The film was selected for this year’s International Wildlife Film Festival in Missoula, Montana, and will be screened there on April 13th and in Boise, Idaho, on June 13th as a part of the North American Bluebird Society’s annual conferenceBluebird Man will be broadcast on Idaho Public Television channels. DVD copies of the film can be purchased at the Wild Lens Store, and you can rent or download a digital copy of the film at the Vimeo on Demand page.  Neil is Scientific Director for Wild Lens Inc.  You can follow his blog at http://www.wildlensinc.org/blog/author/neil-paprocki/
  • Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) in Raptor Research
    The REU Site in Raptor Research (REU-RR) is funded by the National Science Foundation and Boise State University.  REU-RR is a 10-week summer research program located at Boise State University, Boise, Idaho.  Visit the website at http://biology.boisestate.edu/reu/ for information on the program and how to apply. For an update on the work being done by REU students this summer, visit:
    http://news.boisestate.edu/update/2014/06/18/student-researchers-tackling-math-raptors-materials-science-questions/
    Also visit: http://blog.raptorrob.com/2014/06/my-project-of-year-northern-goshawk.html
  • Jamie Wade, a BSU graduate student, gave a thesis defense on Friday, June 13, 2014, from 9:00-10:15 a.m. in the ILC Rm 202. The seminar was titled, “Behavioral Responses of Burrowing Owls to Experimental Clutch Manipulations: An Investigation of Conspecific Brood Parasitism and Laying Determinacy.
  • Thomas Dixon, a BSU graduate student, gave a thesis proposal on Wednesday, May 7, 2014, from 1:30-2:45 p.m. in the Business Building Rm 101. The seminar was titled, “Investigating morphological variation and migration patterns in Sharp-shinned Hawks (Accipiter striatus) along a latitudinal cline
  • Erin Pikcilingis, a Boise State graduate student, gave a thesis proposal on Friday, April 18, 2014 from 1:30-2:45 p.m.  in the Business Building Rm 101. The seminar was titled, “How spatial, geometric, and biotic features of roads affect vehicular collisions with birds: Investigating roadway mortality of barn owls (Tyto alba)
  • Tempe Regan, a BSU graduate student, gave a thesis proposal on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 from 1:30-2:45 p.m. in the Business Building Rm 101. The seminar was titled, “Highway Mortality of Barn Owls (Tyto alba): Modeling Occupancy and Behavior Near Roads
  • Shawn Smith, a BSU graduate student, gave a thesis proposal on Wednesday, April 9, 2014 from 1:30-2:45 p.m. in the Business Building Rm 101. The seminar was titled, “The effect of climate change on predator and prey synchrony: do changes in American kestrel (Falco sparverius) nesting phenology create a mismatch with seasonal prey cycles in southwestern Idaho?
  • Bryce Robinson, a BSU graduate student, gave a thesis proposal on Wednesday, April 2, 2014 from 1:30-2:45 p.m. in the Business Building Rm 101. The seminar was titled, “Gyrfalcon Diet During the Nestling Period on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska
  • Allie Anderson, a Boise State graduate student, gave a defense on Friday, March 21, 2014 from 9:00-10:00 a.m. in the Education Building Rm 109. The seminar was titled, “Does Assortative Mating By Wintering Strategy Explain Shifts in Nesting Phenology in American Kestrels (Falco sparverius)?
  • Jessie Sherburne, a BSU graduate student, gave a thesis defense on Friday, October 11, 2013 from 9:00-10:15 a.m. in the Education Building Rm 110. The seminar was titled, “You are what you eat: Bioavailability and consequences of anthropogenic organic contaminants (AOCs) in two species of wild birds exposed to municipal biosolid
  • Erin Wonder, a Boise State graduate student, gave a thesis defense on Wednesday, October 16, 2013, from 1:30-2:45 p.m. in the Simplot/Micron Building, Room 118. The seminar was titled, “A Test of Whether Human Handling Causes Developmental or Habituation Effects on the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Stress Response of Young American Kestrels (Falco Sparverius)
  • The research of American kestrels by Raptor Biology graduate Erin Strasser and Dr. Julie Heath is highlighted in “Dispatches,” in an issue of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment (June 2013).  The article summarizes their research that links human disturbance from nearby roads and housing to stress and decreased reproduction.  Detailed results and discussion of the research are presented in the Journal of Applied Ecology 2013; http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1365-2664.12103/pdf)
  • Dr. Julie Heath’s American kestrel research program also is highlighted on the Boise State University home page which describes a variety of avian research and education projects being conducted by BSU staff members and colleagues in the vicinity of Boise (https://go.boisestate.edu/for-the-birds/).  The Raptor Research Center, Idaho Bird Observatory, The Peregrine Fund, and other collaborators are noted.Local research and education opportunities and partnerships also are presented in an article in Explore, the research magazine of Boise State University (http://research.boisestate.edu/explore/).  Several studies by Department of Biological Sciences persons are referenced, as is the Idaho Bird Observatory (IBO) and its bird migration study site at Lucky Peak.  With IBO at Lucky Peak, Raptor Biology program graduate students can conduct research or visit to learn field procedures, gaining “hands-on” experience.
  • The Raptor Research Center has created a “Where Are Graduates Now?” section that provides updates on careers, families, and publications of students who graduated from the BSU Master of Science Raptor Biology program.
  • Former Raptor Biology graduate students publish their thesis research in a new book:NEOTROPICAL BIRDS OF PREY BIOLOGY AND ECOLOGY OF A FOREST RAPTOR COMMUNITY Edited by: David F. Whitacre, Forward by: J. Peter Jenny“The results of a decade-long project to study little-known birds of prey in Central and South America are now a…
  • Raptor Biology student, Micah Scholer, monitoring avian migration in Spain For more information: http://news.boisestate.edu/update/2012/07/13/migration-at-gibraltar-raptor-biology-graduate-students-gain-international-perspective-in-spain/…
  • Dr. Julie Heath Researching Affects of Climate Change on Kestrel Migration and Nesting Sun worshipers may be grooving on southwest Idaho’s recent mild winters, but local raptor biologists are keeping a close eye on how these climate changes are affecting the region’s bird population. Julie Heath, assistant professor in the Department o…
  • Gyrfalcon Conference Proceedings Available Research papers presented at a recent conference on the effect of climate change on Gyrfalcons, Ptarmigan, and other arctic wildlife are now available online. The conference was convened by The Peregrine Fund, Boise State University, and the U.S. Geologic…

Awards

Dr. Marc Bechard selected for
2012 – 2013 Distinguished Professor award

Dr. Marc Bechard (center) receives the Distinguished Professor Award from Boise State University President Dr. Bob Kustra and Provost Dr. Martin Schimpf at a reception held on Wednesday, March 20, 2013 (photo by J. Kelly, BSU Photographic Services)

Boise State University President Dr. Bob Kustra, Dr. Marc Bechard, and Provost Dr. Martin Schimpf
(photo by J. Kelly, BSU Photographic Services)

    • Marc Bechard, Department of Biological Science, was a founder of the Raptor Biology graduate program of Boise State University, and he has advised more than 40 graduate students on research of a variety of topics and  species since his arrival at Boise State in 1983.  He is recognized as a leading raptor biologist nationally and internationally. He founded several birds of prey conservation programs in Argentina, Spain, Peru and Kenya and has led the effort to protect endangered falcon and eagle species here and abroad. Marc’s research has led to policy changes in Argentina and Columbia, addressing pesticide use and fish farming practices that were directly endangering Swainson’s hawks and osprey. His research takes him to several other international sites, including Israel to conduct research on the migratory behavior of Levant sparrowhawks, and Turkey and the Republic of Georgia to study honey buzzards and black kites. He has maintained an extremely productive research program, bringing in 58 grants totaling in excess of a million dollars in funding. His research has resulted in more than 65 peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals and more than 110 presentations at scientific meetings, and many more technical reports to state, federal and international agencies and conservation groups. He has served as associate chair of the Department of Biology and editor in chief for the Journal of Raptor Research.
    • Erin Pikcilingis, a master’s student in the raptor biology program, was awarded the honor of “Best Student Poster” by the Idaho Chapter of the Wildlife Society for her poster depicting “How Spatial, Geometric, And Biotic Features Of Roads Affect Vehicular Collisions With Barn Owls (Tyto alba) Along Interstate 84 in Southern Idaho.”
    • Eppley Foundation for Research Awards $10,000 Grant in Support of Research to Raptor Biology Grad Student Bryce Robinson – Bryce Robinson, a BSU grad student in Raptor Biology, and co-author David Anderson, a graduate of BSU’s Master of Science in Raptor Biology program, have been awarded a grant for $10,000 in support of their research on Gyrfalcons in Alaska. Robinson’s thesis research is titled, “Gyrfalcon diet during the nestling period on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska.” The study is designed to explore questions relating to climate change, Gyrfalcon diet, and reproductive success. The primary method is the installation of motion-activated cameras in Gyrfalcon eyries. The grant is through The Eppley Foundation for Research and was written and obtained to fund logistical expenses.

Twin Peaks-2505s

Bryce Robinson, Seward Peninsula, Alaska, conducting research on Gyrfalcons

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New Publications

  • Research: Mitigation Efforts Benefit Greater Sage-Grouse This article is co-authored by Laura Bond, bioinformatics coordinator in Boise State’s Biomolecular Research Center; Mark Fuller, former Raptor Research Center Director and USGS emeritus scientist; and researchers with the USGS and Big Horn Environmental Consultants. It is the first to look at the application of science-based on-site mitigation techniques and sage-grouse nest survival in the Intermountain West.
    Visit Boise State University’s ScholarWorks for the full text of this publication.
  • New Gyrfalcon Research Papers The following research papers were published in the proceedings of the “Gyrfalcons and Ptarmigan in a Changing World” conference in February 2011. Developing Gyrfalcon surveys and monitoring for Alaska Detection probability of Gyrfalcons and other c…