Joe Smith

Joe Smith is an ornithologist and restoration ecologist based in Cape May, NJ. His current work focuses on beach restoration to ameliorate the impacts of Hurricane Sandy on horseshoe crab spawning habitat along the Delaware Bay, and migratory bird research in New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Ecuador. Joe has previously worked for The Nature Conservancy as a conservation ecologist and has done field research throughout the United States and Latin America. His Ph.D. research investigated the wintering biology of migratory songbirds in mangrove forests of Puerto Rico. Joe blogs elsewhere at www.smithjam.com.


Joe's Posts

The Great Turkey Shuffle: How Restoration Has Changed Gobbler Genetics

When reintroducing wild turkeys across the United States, conservationists paid little attention to turkey subspecies. Today, determining turkey subspecies can require the skills of a wildlife CSI team. What does this mean for turkey genetics — and future conservation?

Posted In: Birds
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Decoy: How Fake Birds Aid Real Research

To get a bird in the hand, you have to catch it first. One of the bird researcher’s most trusted bird catching tools is the decoy — a fake bird. Ornithologist Joe Smith on why real birds so often fall for their wooden and paper mache likenesses.

Posted In: Birds, Science
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Enjoy the Fall Migration: Your Guide to Bird Observatories

The fall bird migration is underway. And there’s no better way to enjoy the spectacle — and help science — than to visit a bird observatory near you. Ornithologist Joe Smith gets you started.

Posted In: Birds
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Mad Men Go Falcon Trapping

Bird conservation, 1950s style. Blogger Joe Smith looks back at the unusual techniques used by bird banders, at a time when peregrine falcons faced a bleak and uncertain future.

Posted In: Birds
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The Amazing Lemming: The Rodent Behind the Snowy Owl Invasion?

Lemmings shape nearly every aspect of arctic ecosystems. Could their recent abundance also be a key factor in the snowy owl invasion occurring in the eastern United States?

Posted In: Mammals
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The Snipe Hunt: Myth and Reality

Snipe hunting is just a practical joke, right? Well, not quite. Ornithologist Joe Smith shows how ornithologists utilize “snipe hunting” tactics in their field research. Seriously.

Posted In: Birds
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Theodore Roosevelt: The Birding Citizen-Scientist-in-Chief

Theodore Roosevelt not only created national parks and wildlife refuges, he also was an avid naturalist and a lifelong student of science. Our blogger looks at his “yard list” of birds spotted around the White House and compares it to the birds found there today.

Posted In: Birds
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Dragonfly Migration: A Mystery Citizen Scientists Can Help Solve

A dragonfly holds the record for the longest insect migration. And yet dragonfly migration remains a poorly understood ecological phenomenon. Take note, citizen scientists: your observations can contribute significantly to our understanding of the species, and it’s importance to conservation. Break out your field guide and look around city park or backyard.

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Spotting Banded Birds: Another Way Birders Can Contribute to Citizen Science

Anyone with a pair of binoculars is able to contribute to our understanding of migratory birds by simply keeping a look out for birds with bands. Birders Pat and Doris Leary have made significant contributions to science by focusing on bird bands and reporting their findings. You can help, too. Our blogger tells you how birders can turn every outing into an exciting citizen science project.

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Diverse Conservation

Call for Inclusive Conservation
Join Heather Tallis in a call to increase the diversity of voices and values in the conservation debate.

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Innovative Science

Infrared Sage Grouse Count
The challenge: find a chicken-sized bird in a million-acre expanse of rugged canyons & bad roads. Infrared video to the rescue.

Wildlife Videos In Infrared
Infrared enables us to see minor variations in temperature. See how this technology is revolutionizing conservation science.

Nature As Normal
TNC Lead Scientist Heather Tallis is researching how to make people see nature as critical to life through three lenses: education, water and poverty.

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