Sunday, November 15, 2020



The Rare Vertebrates of Connecticut, out of print for 40 years and not otherwise available on the internet, is now accessible via Bird Conservation Research, Inc.  Much has changed since this volume was released.  Species thought to be rare in the 1970s, like the Cooper's Hawk, Pine Warbler, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and Red-bellied Woodpecker, have undergone explosive population growth and are now regular Connecticut residents.  Others, like the Ruffed Grouse and White-throated Sparrow, have declined and still others, like the Common Raven, had yet to colonize the state. 

Thinking concerning the meaning of terms like State rare and State endangered has, as a consequence, evolved  (see, for example, this).  An important conclusion to be drawn from the extent of population change observed over time is that wildlife communities are dynamic rather than static assemblages (see this).  This conclusion affects how conservation concern is evaluated and requires us to develop a more sophisticated notion of how we view rarity at the local level. See this page and click on the PowerPoint presentation Global vs. Local Perspective on Endangerment for a more-in-depth analysis of this issue.   

The Rare Vertebrates of Connecticut provides us with a useful perspective on some of the earliest thinking concerning conservation of rare species at the local level.  It is available here.


Saturday, February 22, 2020


Arts and Academic Publishing LLC invites authors to submit their book manuscripts for publication.  Authors do not need to submit through an agent, they incur no publication expenses and they receive royalties for books sold.  A complete compilation of author instructions may be found here.  We seek peer reviewed and copy edited manuscripts that are ready for layout and publication, although we offer review and editing services for those who need them.  Our fields of interest are scholarly works in any discipline and substantive literary works.

In writing (and speaking, for that matter), use precise, concise, original language.  Do not use jargon in place of plain language.  Avoid  such common grammatical weaknesses as misuse of reflexive pronouns, use of trite words and use of expressions with origins in bureaucracies.  Bureaucratic language adds little other than superfluous words to sentences, it often replaces clear language with obtuse constructions and, in some cases, it is grammatically incorrect.

Examples of overused language include:

With that being said
With that said
That being said
That said
Having said that
Going forward
Moving forward
In regards to
Here's the thing

Thursday, January 16, 2020


Everyone's been sharing this link with me:…/hc-hm-birds-connecticut-in-declin…
It is a fine article, but as I pointed out to the author, like most everything in nature the situation is much, much more complicated than simply declines of bird species. From our work at Yale Forest, we know that Connecticut bird communities are extremely dynamic, with more that 50% turnover in 35 years and population increases actually outpacing decreases- climate change, habitat change, species moving into new habitats, competition, etc. etc. all appear to play roles. The graph shows Yale Forest population increases vs. decreases for species whose continental populations are (1) increasing, (2) decreasing and (3) stable. We will have an article out soon...

Monday, October 28, 2019


Plumage states of the Eskimo Curlew
Our Eskimo Curlew research is now available as an open access document at…/eskimo%20curlew%2…
It investigates the external anatomy of males vs. females and adults vs. juveniles, and identifies two previously undescribed plumage states. One of these states (see photo) exhibits prominent y-shaped markings on the breast whereas the other exhibits linear markings. It also documents, based on specimen data, the species' historical distribution.

Thursday, October 24, 2019


Bird populations at Yale Forest have increased since 1985, but the amount of variability among individual study sites has also increased. As the figure shows, surveys were duplicated each year to gain a perspective of survey variability.

Unlike continental trends, which show that birds have declined by 30%, forest birds in northeastern Connecticut have undergone a 20% increase. Read about this and more in Bird Conservation Research's October newsletter:

Wednesday, February 13, 2019


The first of the presentations for Bird Conservation Research's new course on endangered species conservation are now available.  These presentations focus on the history of endangered species conservation, the philosophical underpinnings of these efforts and the role of environmental scale in endangered species designation.  These presentations may be viewed at the BCR web site by following this link to the slideshow page.  Scroll to the bottom of the page to see Endangered Species Conservation.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018


Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Bird Conservation Contributions is the peer-reviewed scientific journal of Bird Conservation Research, Inc.  It is made available here through Arts and Academic Publishing.  The series consists of individually published papers on basic and applied avian research that have conservation implications.  Submissions may be data papers, syntheses or commentaries.  Submissions are welcome from anywhere in the world, and are particularly encouraged from women and minority authors, researchers at small and non-academic institutions, researchers who have single author contributions, researchers with limited publication budgets and new authors who may need assistance in achieving professional publication standards.  All submissions, correspondence and reviews are accomplished via the internet.  All published papers are open access. There are no page charges or author fees for accepted papers.