Author Archives: Bri Benvenuti

Does marsh restoration help Saltmarsh Sparrows?

By: Chris Elphick @ UConn Saltmarsh restoration is common in the northeastern USA, where SHARP’s work is focused.  Historically, restoration has focused largely on the eradication of Phragmites australis – an introduced grass that grows to 2+ meters tall and … Continue reading

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Modern Love (or Mating, at Least)

By: Kate Ruskin @UMaine People often cite birds as the ultimate example of romantic faithfulness (see Never Been Kissed for an incorrect, but nonetheless romantic, usage: “You know, Adelie penguins, they spend their whole lives looking for that one other … Continue reading

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Are marshes on the move?

By: Chris Field @UConn As we have highlighted in recent blog posts, much of SHARP is focused on better understanding today’s tidal marsh communities and how they are changing compared to the recent past. We are also working on bringing … Continue reading

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From Maine to Florida: Tracking Long-Distance Recaptures

By: Alyssa Borowske @ UConn From the moment a bird hits a mist-net, it becomes a series of data points: sex, age, species, location, wing, leg, bill and head lengths, amounts of fat, conditions of feathers, etc.  Each of these facts … Continue reading

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Predators and Prey: What happens when you remove a top predator from a habitat?

By: Laura Garey @UMaine What happens when you remove the top predator from a habitat?  The simple answer is the predator’s prey would benefit from not being eaten.  What about indirect effects? As humans influenced North American animal communities, scientists noticed … Continue reading

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Using Adaptive Cluster Sampling Techniques to Increase Detections of King Rails (Rallus elegans)

By: Tim Freiday @ UDel “Adaptive sampling is appealing because it mimics how biologists would like to collect data,” (Smith et al, 2004).  With adaptive sampling, a scheme is devised to collect an initial sample followed by an intensification of … Continue reading

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Nest Predators in New Jersey Salt Marshes

By: Sam Roberts @UDel Although bird nests in salt marshes fail for a variety of reasons, the primary causes are flooding and predation. Daily high tides and the high tides after a heavy rainstorm can cause nest failures, however, spring … Continue reading

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Hurricane Sandy and Meadow Voles

By: Becky Kern @UDel Although most of SHARP’s work focuses on birds, we also had the unique opportunity to record the impact of Hurricane Sandy on small mammals.   As part of my dissertation research, I investigated the tidal marsh bird … Continue reading

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One sparrow, two sparrow

By: Whitney Wiest @ UDel One of the initial overarching goals of the SHARP team was to develop and conduct a full-scale bird survey in northeastern tidal marshes.  Historically, marshbirds have been underrepresented on The North American Breeding Bird Survey because … Continue reading

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Unlocking the secrets of the Saltmarsh-Nelson’s sparrow hybrid zone

By Jen Walsh@ UNH As a SHARP grad student, I have spent the past 4 years traveling the Saltmarsh-Nelson’s sparrow hybrid zone in hopes of better understanding how these species interact. While the distribution and taxonomic classification of Nelson’s and … Continue reading

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