John Confer

John Confer

Retired Associate Professor and Coordinator, Department of Biology
Faculty, School of Humanities and Sciences

Specialty:Animal Ecology, Ornithology

Much of my research is concerned with the regulation of species diversity and abundance, and man's impact on our natural ecosystems. My studies of Golden-winged Warblers examined factors that influence nesting success. More recently, I have compiled data by many others who have studied hybridization between Golden-winged Warblers and the closely related Blue-winged Warbler. About 1% of the Golden-winged Warblers hybridize and the hybrid progeny have reduced pairing success, suggesting they are two, valid species.

I am now retired, but appointed as Scholar in Residence.  I continue to monitor highway mortality of migrating amphibians and have initiated efforts to obtain funding to construct a wildlife underpass. I initiated our campus assessment of the economic and environmental feasibility of erecting a wind power tower on our campus and continue extensive involvement especially with the development of public support and on research on reducing bat mortality to the power towers. 

My own research now considers migration patterns by the Northern Saw-whet Owl, My studies use federal bird-banding data as well as the data I obtain from the fall banding station I maintain to capture and band saw-whets. Results have been published in the Wilson Journal for 2014 and 2016, and in The Kingbird for 2013. I have also followed the nesting success of the Merlin, which recently expanded from the north into the Ithaca area as described in The Kingbird, 2016.


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