News and events

June 18, 2024–Big congrats to Katie McGee and Violet Wu–both recently received grants to attend the Summit for the Birds, American Ornithological Society’s 2024 annual meeting in October in Colorado.

May 29, 2024–BirdSafe Maine (Maine Audubon) just announced winners of their inaugural Bird Safe Awards, and our work installing bird-safe glass on the Ripich Commons won the award for Educational Excellence!

April 18, 2024–Great article about the Terrestrial Wildlife class and GapTracks Project in the Southern Forecaster today. Very much looking forward to our presentation in Scarborough on April 23 @ 7pm @ the Scarborough Public Safety Building.

February 21, 2024–Squirrels squirrels squirrels… thanks to Kate Morgan for including me in her fun Washington Post article on squirrels AND for KCBS San Franscico for having me on air to talk squirrels.

October 3, 2023–So fun being interviewed by Laura Baisas and Popular Science for this article about gulls in NJ beach towns.

August 16, 2023–Thanks to Zero Gravity for your continuing support in studying Bobolink migration! Brew on!

July 21, 2023–Excited to talk (virtually) grassland bird management with Vermont Coverts on July 21. Sign up here to join us.

June 30, 2023–Super proud to announce that Noah has been named to the Maine Audubon Board of Trustees.

June 15, 2023–Incredibly excited to learn today that the US Fish & Wildlife Service has funded our Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act (NMBCA) proposal–ASSESSING SEASONAL & MIGRATORY MOVEMENTS BY BOBOLINKS ON THE FARM HUB & IN VT. Lots of great work to come!

May 25, 2023–Always so my fun giving grassland bird talks at Shelburne Farms! Thanks for inviting me.

May 18, 2023–Thanks to Julie Filiberti (mother of amazing lab alum Emily Filiberti!) and the Friends of Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge for inviting me to talk grassland birds–particularly our nanotag work on the refuge–as part of their World Migratory Bird Day weekend festivities.

May 1, 2023–GREAT story on Squirrelogy by News Center Maine Channel 6. So fun!

March 21, 2023–Hugely honored to be awarded with ecomaine‘s 2023 Eco-excellence award. I love working in this community and look forward to more good things to come. Here is coverage of the award in the Portland Press Herald.

January 17, 2023–Great way to start off a new year–psyched for this new paper just out on our Galapagos Bobolink research. We used molecular techniques to identify where Bobolinks caught in Galapagos originated: Perlut, N.G., A. Kovach, L.M. Maxwell, P. Parker and R. B. Renfrew. 2023. Breeding origins of a uniquely regular migrant songbird in the Galápagos. Ecology and Evolution. Ecology and Evolution. 3:e9697.

Nov 3, 2022–Always tough being part of stories that convey alarming news–but there are hopeful messages here too, particularly through our work.

Oct 15, 2022–Thrilled to share a new paper out exploring how body size and plumage affects Bobolink annual survival. Way to go Emma! Burke, E.K., and N.G. Perlut. 2022. Variation in body size and plumage explains apparent survival for young but not old male Bobolinks. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 134: 551-559.

August 17, 2022–It has been a long time coming….and so excited to share this new paper from the Perlut Lab, really expanding what we know about the consequences for returning to breed where you are hatched. Great work Olivia! Scott, O.M., N.G. Perlut and A.M. Strong. 2022. Age-specific Effects on Reproductive Performance of Grassland Songbirds. Avian Ecology and Conservation. 17(2).

July 11, 2022–Thanks to the Yale Climate Connections for this interesting podcast featuring our grassland songbird research.

July 8, 2022–Washington Post writer Laura Daily put together a great piece on how to manage with mosquitos without using nasty chemicals–she profiled our work on UNE’s campus. Love this story!

June 24, 2022–Our gull research was included in The Ancient Art of Falconry on the Jersey Shore, by Andrew Lewis, and just out in in the NY Times. Fascinating piece. Beautiful images. Thanks Andrew!

May 25-2022–Thanks WCAX Vermont for this great piece on our work with Shelburne Farms.

May 23, 2022–Vermonters come talk grassland birds with me at Shelburne Farms Wed May 25 @ 6pm! Details here.

April 28, 2022–Great GapTracks article in the Northern Forecaster and Portland Press Herald.

April 19, 2022–Excellent story in Northern Woodlands on our collaborative work tracking Bobolinks with the Motus network.

April 17, 2022–April 27 is stacked up! The Perlut Lab is giving 2 talks that night. The first @ 530 pm is a virtual talk for the Portland Public Library on roof-top nesting gulls. The second @ 715 pm is a virtual talk by the Terrestrial Wildlife class for the Scarborough Public Library on the GapTracks Project.

March 28, 2022–THRILLED that Emma White’s second thesis chapter was published today in the Wilson Journal of Ornithology. White, E.M, N.G. Perlut, S.E. Travis and A.M. Strong. 2021. Microsatellite markers yield new insight into extra-pair paternity in Bobolinks (Dolichonyx oryzivorus). Wilson Journal of Ornithology 133:476-483.

January 19, 2022–Massive shout out of thanks to Zero Gravity Craft Brewery for their continued support and collaboration in tracking Bobolinks from Vermont to all ends of the earth. Cheers to the Bobolink Saison!

December 6, 2021–Nothing is more professionally gratifying than collaboratively publishing research with students. A really great project with Olivia Scott (UNE 2020′ Environmental Science and Biology) was just accepted for publication. Scott, O.M.,@, N.G. Perlut and A.M. Strong. In press. Age-specific Effects on Reproductive Performance of Grassland Songbirds. Avian Ecology and Conservation.

November 11, 2021–Fishing in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia (go JMU Dukes!) led me to my love of birds. It has taken a long time, but I finally took part in a fruitful collaboration studying fish (using statistical techniques developed for birds ha!). Congrats to Austin Flanigan, UNE alum and currently in graduate school in Alaska. Flanigan, A.J.@, J.A. Langan, N.G. Perlut and J.A. Sulikowski. 2021. A Preliminary Population Estimate of Atlantic Sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus) Within a Semi Closed Riverine System. Journal of Northwest Atlantic Fishery Science. 52: 39–47.

November 3, 2021–Love this Audubon story on our work exploring how Bobolinks, Savannah Sparrows and hay farmers are all responding to climate change.

November 1, 2021–What is the best news you can get while trying to find and catch Bobolinks in Galapagos? That your collaborative manuscript on this project was accepted! Huge thanks to our amazing collaborators. Renfrew, R.B., N.G. Perlut, L.M. Maxwell, M. Cadman, D.H. Kim, G.V. Clucas, and A. Kovach. In press. Resolving population origins for a grassland songbird exhibiting population structure. Biodiversity and Conservation.

October 28, 2021–Hot off the virtual press! Here is Emma White’s manuscript: White, E.M., N.G. Perlut, S.E. Travis, and A.M. Strong. 2021. Diverse demographic factors influence apparent juvenile survival in a migratory songbird. Ecosphere. 12(10):e03761.

October 4, 2021–Off to Galapagos on a sabbatical adventure to try to find and catch Bobolinks! Thanks to Nuttall Ornithological Club and Blake-Nuttall Fund for generously funding fieldwork, the Ludcke endowment in the College of Arts and Sciences at UNE and to the University of New England for granting me the sabbatical!

September 29, 2021–Congrats to lab alum Emma White–the second chapter of her MS thesis was just accepted for publication: White, E.M, N.G. Perlut, S.E. Travis and A.M. Strong. In press. Microsatellite markers yield new insight into extra-pair paternity in Bobolinks (Dolichonyx oryzivorus). Wilson Journal of Ornithology.

September 15, 2021–Wow 30 minutes burns fast on the radio! Had a blast talking Bobolinks on Vermont Viewpoint with Rick Cengeri on WDEV Vermont.

September 10, 2021–Psyched to see so much interest in our work tracking Bobolinks with nanotags on the Motus network at Shelburne Farms. Check out this great TV coverage on WCAX Vermont.

August 17, 2021–Nice story in the Valley News about our recent study of how grassland birds and Vermont hay farmers are (or are not!) adjusting to climate change.

August 8, 2021–The Motus project, developed and organized by Birds Canada, utilizes over 1000 antenna towers to detect the movements of migrating birds, bats and insects who have been tagged with Motus-specific tags (‘nanotags’). In collaboration with colleagues in PA at the Willistown Conservation Trust and the University of Maine, as well as the Northeast Motus Collaboration managed by Todd Alleger, we recently started deploying these tags on Bobolinks in Vermont. Here is a sweet article about our work in Vermont. Special thanks to Sam Dixon and Alec Webb at Shelburne Farms for making this happen.

June 15, 2021–Amazing article by Lisa W. Foderaro in Audubon Magazine detailing our continued work in Vermont hayfields.

May 21, 2021–Congrats to Emma White! Her first (and biggggggest!!!) Master’s thesis paper was just accepted. This paper used a 17-year dataset from a Vermont population of Bobolinks to assess factors influencing apparent juvenile survival, including factors related to nesting timing, nest attempt number, the philopatric behaviors of relatives, body mass, brood size, and agricultural management scheme. Such great work! White, E.M., N.G. Perlut, S.E. Travis, and A.M. Strong. In press. Diverse demographic factors influence apparent juvenile survival in a migratory songbird. Ecosphere.

May 20, 2021–So excited to share the PDF of our climate change paper in Ecology and Evolution hot off the virtual press. McGowan, M.M., N.G. Perlut, and A.M. Strong. 2021. Agriculture is adapting to phenological shifts caused by climate change, but grassland songbirds are not. Ecology and Evolution.

March 24, 2021–The Perlut lab’s first paper exploring how grassland songbirds breeding in agricultural fields respond to climate change was just accepted! Huge contracts to Maeve McGowan (Env Science 2020) who led the project. McGowan, M.M., N.G. Perlut, and A.M. Strong. In press. Agriculture is adapting to phenological shifts caused by climate change, but grassland songbirds are not. Ecology and Evolution.

Jan 29, 2021–Fun talking squirrels with the McArthur Public Library tonight. You can see the talk here on their YouTube page.

Jan 2, 2021–The new year started with excellent news. Our paper, Management Schemes, not Philopatry or Breeding Experience, Affect Nest Success of Two Songbirds in Vermont Hayfields, led by lab alum Kylie Denny, was accepted for publication in the Wildlife Society Bulletin. Woop woop!

Nov 9, 2020–Excited to talk GapTracks with the Eastern Trail Alliance on Nov 10 @ 6pm. More details on how to register here.

Oct 26, 2020–Mammoth congrats to lab alumni Kylee DiMaggio. She was the lead on our paper, Mixed consequences of divorce on reproductive success of songbirds nesting in agricultural hayfields, was accepted for publication in the Wilson Journal of Ornithology.

July 9, 2020–Excited to talk grassland birds and climate change at 6pm tonight with UNE and Perlut Lab alum Maeve McGowan in a Kennebec Estuary Land Trust zoom event. Please join us here.

June 22, 2020–Super fun new article out in Yankee Magazine profiling our roof-top gull research in Portland. Thanks Sara Anne Donnelly for including me!

June 19, 2020–So incredibly honored to have been nominated and selected as the 2020-21 Ludcke Chair of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of New England. The Ludcke Chair, funded by a generous bequest from the estate of Eleanor Ludcke (Westbrook College Class of 1926), is presented annually to a tenured member of the faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences in recognition of his or her outstanding academic accomplishments. The chair holder must have attained the ideal of the “teacher/scholar,” a dedicated educator and productive researcher who has given time generously to the University of New England over a significant period.

May 27, 2020–Amazing how many gaps persist in our basic knowledge of even common species. Just published a new paper identifying the migratory path and wintering location of an Antillean Nighthawk, which bred on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe.

Perlut, N.G. and A. Levesque. 2020. Geolocator data reveals the migration route and non-breeding location of a Antillean Nighthawk (Chordeiles gundlachii). Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 33:49-53.

April 16, 2020–Even this bizarre time of COVID cannot stop the mighty publication of science. Squirrelly little paper just out.

Perlut, N.G. 2020. Long-distance dispersal by Eastern gray squirrels in suburban habitats. Northeastern Naturalist. 27:195-200.

March 16, 2020–Fun to be a part of the Portland Press Herald’s article In Maine’s 200 years, man’s impact has altered the animal landscape by Deirdre Fleming.

February 3, 2020–Thanks for Steve Minich and Channel 8 News WMTW for this great piece on our GapTracks Project.

January 30, 2020–Excited to visit the Enclave of Scarborough, Assisted Living Center to talk about the GapTracks project tonight!

January 22, 2020–So proud of Emma White for defending her Master’s thesis today! An investigation into extrapair paternity and juvenile survival in Bobolinks (Dolichonyx oryzivorus)

January 21, 2020–It takes a village to unravel the secrets of the Bobolink. Super fun new collaboration describing variability in migration tactics across Bobolink populations. Renfrew, R.B., M. Cadman, D. Kim, and N.G. Perlut. 2020. Migration strategies of a long-distance migratory songbird across a continental breeding range. In press. Wilson Journal of Ornithology. 131:735-749.

January 13, 2020–Excited about the new, hugely collaborative paper trying to understand the effects of geolocators on small birds.

Brlík, Vojtěch et al. (49 co-authors). 2020. Small effect of geolocators on small birds: a meta-analysis controlled for phylogeny and publication bias. Journal of Animal Ecology. 89:207–220.

November 16, 2019–Thanks to the Hudson Valley Farm Hub for inviting me to talk at your symposium Perspectives on Farming with Nature at The Ashokan Center. I am excited to join the Farm Hub’s Applied Farmscape Ecology Research Collaborative.

November 11, 2019–Fun times at the Waterbird Society Annual meeting the urban gull symposium presenting our collaborative research on roof-top Herring Gulls. The talk was titled: Dispersal and apparent survival by sub-adult Herring Gulls from urban and island colonies in the Gulf of Maine. This work was co-authored by John Anderson, College of the Atlantic, David Bonter, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Sarah Courchesne, Northern Essex Community College, Julie Ellis, University of Pennsylvania, Mary Everett, University of Massachusetts Lowell, and Peggy Friar, University of New England.

October 14, 2019–Super excited about a new grant with the Hawthorne Valley Farmscape Ecology Program studying Bobolink movement ecology at the Hudson Valley Farm Hub. Xander Vitarelli (Environmental Science 22′) is joining the lab to coordinate the project.

October 11, 2019–Exciting to be a part of this interesting article in the Portland Press Herald today on two new major models describing both a turbulent future and equally turbulent past 50 years for bird populations.

June 25, 2019–The Burlington Free Press covered our work recently–How Vermonters are working to save the last refuge of grassland birds. Amazing visuals. This story was picked up across the country, including USA Today, The Kansas City Star, US News and World Report, The News and Observer, The Eagle Times, San Antonio Express News, Lexington Herald Leader, Miami Herald, and Associated Press.

June 20, 2019–Great video by the Burlington Free Press on our grassland bird research in Vermont. Article coming soon.

May 28, 2019–Talking grassland birds in the motherland of grassland birds tonight–Shelburne Farms. Details here.

May 19, 2019–Fun little note out today–Latest Documented Fall record of Oporornis agilis (Connecticut Warbler) in North America–published in Northeastern Naturalist.

May 6, 2019–Fantastic article about the GapTracks project in the Portland Press Herald! Thanks Deirdre Fleming!

April 26, 2019–Super excited to be on Maine Public Radio’s Maine Calling show today from 1-2 talking about signs of spring and phenology. Listen to a rebroadcast here.

April 23, 2019–Talking roof-top nesting gulls at the Friends of the Scarborough Marsh lecture series.

April 22, 2019–So proud of Kylee DiMaggio. Her poster, Consequences of Divorce on Reproductive Success of Nesting Grassland Songbirds in Vermont, won a second prize award at the 2019 Northeast Natural History Conference. Woop woop!

April 14, 2019–Fun to be interviewed by the Portland Press Herald for this story on natural adoption by wildlife.