Ep. 38: Wood Thrushes and Canadian Wildlife Ecology with Alex Israel

For Part Two in our wildlife ecology series, we talked with Alexandra Israel, a Master’s student at York University about wood thrushes.  As a field biologist, Alex works in Canada researching species like the Wood Thrush and the worrying decline of songbird populations.

Listen in to hear about her experience with field work, as well as issues such as nest predation and bird parasites that hurt songbird populations.  Learn about small things people can also do to help songbird populations.  These include keeping domestic cats indoors and using stickers to deter bird from flying into windows.  We also talk about forest fragmentation.  This is the process by which urbanization breaks up forests with human spaces, detrimental to songbirds and other animals.

About Alex

Alexandra Israel is Master’s student from York University, Ontario.  She studies a threatened species of songbird in Canada called the Wood Thrush (Hylocichla mustelina).  So, bird nests that are more hidden from predators (like foxes, hawks, raccoons, etc.) are probably more likely to survive, right?  Actually, this isn’t always true!  Previous studies have shown that nest concealment does not play a role in determining nest survival for some species of songbirds.  For this reason, Alex is interested in learning more about the nesting strategies of Wood Thrushes and how they choose their nesting sites.  Any information that she learns about the nesting strategies of Wood Thrushes could be useful for informing future conservation efforts for this declining species.

Connect with Alex on Instagram.

Listen to last week’s episode, part one in our wildlife ecology series, Conservation and Rainforest Ecology with Stephanie Martin

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