Avian Ecology

Ornithological research at URI is diverse and interdisciplinary. Faculty and their students study songbirds, woodcock, shorebirds, waterfowl, and Arctic nesting geese—to name a few. Their research has spanned the tropical islands of the Caribbean, the Great Basin wetlands of Utah and California, and the deciduous forests of eastern North America. Most of their work involves the study of basic avian biology and ecology and its application to conservation-related problems.

The Department of Natural Resources Science manages the Kingston Wildlife Research Station. With nearly 60 years of data, the Kingston Wildlife Research Station is one of the nation’s longest-running bird-banding stations. In association with the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center Coastal Field Station, a U.S. Geological Survey unit housed at URI, the department has also developed an active coastal bird research program.

Examples of recent and current projects include: effects of habitat and landscape features on the avian community in forested wetlands; relationships among migratory birds, small mammals, deer, and ticks in the ecology of Lyme disease; colonization patterns and the evolution of the avifauna in Barbados, West Indies; nutritional ecology and physiology of migratory songbirds and geese; spatial distribution of avian biodiversity hotspots; impact of salt-marsh restoration on Sharp-tailed Sparrows; and the potential impact of offshore wind turbines on migrating birds.


Chair, Professor

Department of Natural Resources Science



Department of Natural Resources Science