Science

Birmingham Audubon staff are leading several active research projects in the Birmingham area and statewide.  The data are contributing to a better understanding of urban habitat use and overall ecology of numerous species.

Village Creek point count surveys

Yellow-crowned night heron by Greg Harber.

Yellow-crowned night heron by Greg Harber.

Village Creek is an urban waterway that begins in northeast Birmingham and flows through the heart of the city before emptying into the Black Warrior River.

This study, lead by Birmingham Audubon Teaching Naturalist, Dr. Ansel Payne, is examining the diversity and seasonal use of species that utilize the creek for food (e.g., Great Blue Herons, Yellow-Crowned Night-Herons, and Belted Kingfishers).

Eastern Bluebird reproductive ecology

Bluebird nest by Andy Coleman

Bluebird nest by Andy Coleman.

Providing Eastern Bluebirds nesting habitat with nest boxes have aided populations to deal with the loss of their previously normal nesting habitat of tree cavities.  In partnership with the Behind the Gates Garden Club, Birmingham Audubon Program Director, Dr. Andy Coleman, is studying the reproductive ecology of Eastern Bluebirds at the Greystone Country Club in suburban Birmingham.  This population was first studied by long-time Birmingham Audubon member, the late Dr. Dan Holliman.

Feeding ecology of Bald Eagles

Turtle shells by Andy Coleman.

Turtle shells by Andy Coleman.

Bald Eagles are a conservation success story and studying various aspects of their ecology can contribute to their management.  Dr. Andy Coleman is studying Bald Eagles predation of turtles in Alabama.  Nests from all over of Alabama are being monitored throughout the nesting season to collect turtle remains.  Remains are identified and measured (if possible), and these data indicate which turtle species and life history stages are susceptible to becoming prey.