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Kelly Weintraub

 kelly in meadow




Thesis Topic

Nesting biology of tricolored blackbirds in the southern San Joaquin Valley


Dr. Luke George

kaw167 "at" humboldt.edu
Undergraduate Institution

B.S. Environmental Studies-Biology

Southern Oregon University, Ashland, OR

My love of wildlife and wild places stems from a childhood filled with camping, hiking, and studying nature up close in the Sierra Nevada. I'm very excited to be pursuing a masters degree here at Humboldt State. For my thesis, I'm studying the nesting biology of tricolored blackbirds in the San Joaquin Valley. Tens of thousands of dollars are spent annually to protect colonies of tricolored blackbirds nesting in agricultural fields. The relative nesting success of birds breeding in these fields has not been determined, however, and it is possible that tricolored blackbirds experience higher rates of nest survival in native marsh vegetation than in ag fields. If this is the case, conservation efforts might be better directed toward enhancing and expanding marsh habitat to encourage colonies to establish there. My study will evaluate the survival rates of tricolored blackbird nests in agricultural fields versus wetland habitats.


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