Habitat Use and Conservation




My students and I study the habitat requirements of birds in the southeast. For these assessments we use occupancy models and adjust our data for detectability. Much of the bird habitat and avian conservation research that we have conducted over the past ten has been part of a large multi-lab study of the ecology of encephalitis viruses in the southeast. We have made a significant contribution to understanding of the role of birds in virus cycles and at the same time we have used the data to test basic ideas regarding bird occupancy.

In past years, my students have initiated studies to understand the decline of the Rusty Blackbird in North America. They have also used BBS data to look at change in bird diversity over the past forty years.


Key citations related to habitat association and conservation from the Hill Lab:

McDonald, K. C McClure, B. Rolek, G. Hill. 2012. Bird diversity shifts north with climate change. Ecology and Evolution 12: 3052-3060

McClure, C. J. W., Rolek, B. W., and Hill, G. E. 2012. Predicting occupancy of wintering migratory birds: is microhabitat information necessary? Condor 114:1–9.

McClure, C. J. W., and G. E. Hill. 2012. Dynamic versus static occupancy: How stable are habitat associations through a breeding season? Ecosphere 3(7):60.

McClure, C. J. W., Rolek, B. McDonald, K. and Hill, G. E. 2012. Climate change and the decline of a once common bird. Ecology and Evolution. 2(2): 370-378.

McClure, C. J. W., Estep L. K., and Hill, G. E. McClure, C.J.W., Estep, L. K., and Hill, G. E. 2012. Effects of species ecology and urbanization on accuracy of a cover-type model: A test using GAP analysis.  Landscape and Urban Planning 105: 417–424.

McClure, C. J. W., Burkett-Cadena, N. D., Ligon, R. A. and Hill, G. E. 2011. Actual or perceived abundance? Interpreting annual survey data in the face of changing phenologies. Condor 113(3):490-500.

McClure, C. J. W., Estep, L. K. and Hill, G. E. 2011. Using public land cover data to determine habitat associations of breeding birds in Tuskegee National Forest, Alabama. Southern Journal of Applied Forestry 35: 199-209.

McClure, C. J. W., Estep, L. K. and Hill, G. E. 2011. A Multi-Scale Analysis Of Competition Between The House Finch And House Sparrow In The Southeastern U.S. Condor 113: 462–468.

Hill, G. E., L. Siefferman, M. Liu, H. Hassan, and T. R. Unnasch. 2010. The effects of West Nile virus on the reproductive success and overwinter survival of Eastern Bluebirds in Alabama. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases 10: 159-163.