Select Page

Tag: Kimberly Smith

Seeing the Saw-Whet

“The research is invigorating and an inspiring way to be involved in ornithology and bird conservation,” Pruitt said. “Plus, the saw-whet owl is clearly the cutest owl in the world.”

Read More

Saw What? The Saw-whets Are Back

The northern saw-whet owls are back. For the second consecutive fall, Mitchell Pruitt, an Honors College student, and Kimberly Smith, Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences, have captured and banded northern saw-whet owls at the Ozark Natural Science Center in Madison County, continuing their research on migratory patterns of these elusive, tiny owls. Pruitt and Smith captured and documented just two adult females in 2014. This fall they captured, banded and released 22 northern saw-whets, which have been rarely seen in Arkansas since the mid-1950s. In one night they captured five of the pint-sized owls, which can fit in the palm of...

Read More

Biologists Capture, Document Elusive Northern Saw-whet Owls in Arkansas

Kimberly Smith and Mitchell Pruitt captured and documented for the first time two Northern Saw-whet Owls wintering in the Ozarks. The elusive and small birds are rarely found this far south, with only a dozen sightings reported in the state over the last 55 years. The researchers used recordings of the saw-whet owl call and fine-gauge nylon mist nests to capture the birds before banding them and releasing them back into the wild. During winter, northern saw-whets are usually silent and difficult to locate, so little is known about their winter distribution. However, recent successes at banding stations in...

Read More

Climate Changes We Respond

Looking back on the record heat of 2012, Research Frontiers asked a cross-section of University of Arkansas faculty to look forward to the mid-21st century. How is climate change affecting their field of study and their own research? Taken together, their responses offer a glimpse at how diverse disciplines are addressing a more turbulent future. Jean Henry associate professor of community health promotion department of health, human performance and recreation While physical impacts of climate change can be clearly observed, one impact that is often overlooked is the link between climatic and environmental change and emotional and mental health...

Read More

Why do birds flock together?

Kimberly Smith, professor of biological sciences in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, replies: Vertebrates commonly form aggregations: fish form schools, mammals form herds, and birds form flocks.  In birds, flock formation is generally associated with cooperative food hunting, information exchange and protection from predators.  While there are disadvantages to being in close association with lots of other animals, the fact the flocking is so common in birds means the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. An example of cooperative hunting would be flocks of White Pelicans that swim single file, body to body, driving schools of fish from deeper water into shallower water, where the fish can be scooped up in the pelicans’ pouches.  Another example is associated with the Northern Mockingbird, the state bird of Arkansas, which defends fruit trees during winter as a food source.  These very aggressive birds are able to deter individual birds, but flocks of American Robins and Cedar Waxwings are able to overwhelm the mockingbird, allowing them to steal the defended fruits. Information exchange has to do with knowledgeable birds and naive birds. Knowledgeable birds have some information about the environment that naive birds lack.  For instance, possibly the first blackbirds leaving a roost at dawn are the ones that discovered good feeding sites the previous day.  By forming flocks leaving the roost, naïve birds are led to good feeding sites...

Read More
  • 1
  • 2

Looking for an expert?

The University of Arkansas Campus Experts website is a searchable database of experts who can talk to the media on current events.

Trending Topics:
Arkansas politics
Digital privacy
Sexual assault

Leading Change, Changing Lives

Connect with Us