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GCA / Cornell Lab of Ornithology Partnership Supports Threatened Native Birds


December 06, 2022

Projects Research Birds’ Seasonal Habitats in the United States

The Garden Club of America, in collaboration with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, promotes the study of seasonal habitat for threatened or endangered native birds that have the potential to provide useful information for land-management decisions. In 2022, two Frances M. Peacock Scholarships for Native Bird Habitat were awarded to graduate students whose field studies focused on the King Rail, a freshwater marsh bird, and breeding habitats in Sierra Nevada meadows that are critical for declining bird species.

2022 Peacock Scholar Carol Gause, East Carolina University, completed the first stage of her research at MacKay Island National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina this summer. Said Gause, “My crew and I found and monitored eighteen King Rail nests after searching large tracts of refuge land that differed in prescribed burn status.” In addition, Gause surveyed over fifty managed and unmanaged regional sites for King Rail presence and collected blood samples from over thirty individual King Rails.

Gause is contributing to a long-term King Rail monitoring project that will compare populations using next-generation sequencing.

Since its inception in 1994, the Frances M. Peacock Scholarship for Native Bird Habitat has funded field studies for sixty scholars whose projects have spanned the country. The Garden Club of America Scholarship Committee and the Cornell Lab will soon begin the selection process for the 2023 Peacock Scholars.



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