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Entomologist seeks ornithologists to collaborate on bird predators of bumble bees

Fern Davies

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The Cameron Lab at the University of Illinois is currently seeking North American research collaborators for the months of March through October 2014. The primary goals of the experiment are to identify bird species that act as predators of bumble bees and to estimate the prevalence of bumble bees in the diets of these birds. The aims of the experiment are to help determine the role of birds in bumble bee color evolution and to determine the potential impact of bumble bee decline on bird populations in North America. Collaborating banders/ornithologists will use provided materials to collect fecal material during the course of their routine field work or banding work. Interested parties should contact me directly with inquiries or to pledge support.


Essentially, if a bird defecates during handling, the material is collected. Expectations of collaborators are that they label collected samples with band numbers, store accumulated samples, and then ship sample batches to the Cameron Lab at the U of I. Collection supplies and shipping expenses are provided. Shipments should contain a copy of banders’ records that match band numbers with specimen data collected during the banding process (e.g. species, sex, age, measurements, etc.). Collaborators will receive updates on the progress of the analysis, acknowledgement in any publications, and a copy of said publications for their records.


The nature of this study requires collecting as many species from as many species as possible, and the current approach is to capitalize on the important work already being undertaken by bird banders or ornithologists to achieve this goal. If you are interested in facilitating this research program, please contact me directly by phone or email.


John Maddux




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