Hummingbirds are beloved for their glittering feathers and spunk, as well as their epic aerial battles and buzzy chirps. We put out feeders to entice these tiny birds and delight in how loyally they visit our yards, day in and day out—we name the birds we see, and we watch them joust and duel, bills at one another’s throats. But have you ever wondered if those two birds locked in combat are the same ones every time—and every year? When it’s all said and done, where do the victors and the defeated zip off to, out of sight? Territoriality—defending resources from others—is a complicated web of physical advantage, energetics, and movement.
To tease apart this murky story, I am leveraging two kinds of wildlife trackers: minute, radio-frequency tags (as small as rice!) that let us know which hummingbirds are visiting feeders at any given time; and radio-transmitters that hummingbirds wear like backpacks, to uncover where and when they fly away to defend their home ranges. By combining these miniature technologies, we stand poised to shed light on how hummingbirds compete and interact like never before—and answer many of our long-standing curiosities along the way. Check out the videos! ↓
1. Very high frequency (VHF) radio-transmitters
2. Passive integrated transponders (PIT tags)
3. Accelerometers (collaboration with mechanical engineer Yash Talwekar at UW).
I strive to form collaborative partnerships with research stations and labs across the world. My work is primarily based in Ecuador and Colombia, where I am working at several fantastic research stations. You can explore them by clicking on the logos below, along with my published work!
Check out my field and lab sites below:
I've had the privilege of working with many different avian species, in various corners of the world—like fairy-wrens in Australia, owls in Canada, and storm-petrels in the Azores (Portugal). Many of these projects were conservation- or behavior-oriented. Feel free to check out my CV if you're interested in seeing more of my experience, and head to the gallery for some pictures of my past work!