2016 IOS Grants Awards

Andy Gilbert, Grant Recipient

Andy Gilbert, Grant Recipient

One of IOS’s objectives is “To promote scientific research and education in order to improve knowledge and awareness of birds in Illinois”. The IOS Grants Program was initiated several years ago to support this objective with funding.

The 2016 IOS Grants Program received 13 requests for funding. The IOS review team evaluated each proposal, and determined that all were suitable for funding within the scope of that key objective described above. In addition to money provided directly by IOS, donations by five organizations and many individuals (see the alphabetical lists below) made it possible for all of the 2016 grant requests to be fully funded. Funding 13 Grants is a milestone – the largest investment in research on Illinois birds IOS has been able to provide, since the inception of the Grants program!

  • Jill Anderson
  • John Baker
  • Denis Bohm
  • Donnie Dann
  • Pen & Carl Daubach
  • Joy & Jon Duerr
  • Karen & Bob Fisher
  • Steve Fluett
  • Glenn Gabanski
  • Jon Grainger
  • Warren Jones
  • Vera Miller
  • Joan Norek
  • Vicky Sroczynski & John Burke
  • Marsha Steffen
  • Dave Taliaferro
  • Chuck Westcott
  • Ted Wolff
  • Chicago Ornithological Society
  • DuPage Birding Club
  • Kane County Audubon
  • Lake-Cook Audubon
  • Lake County Audubon

Thanks to you all! Without the generosity of these organizations and IOS members and friends in the bird conservation community, IOS would not be able to support these projects. The support exemplified by this funding sends an important message to these students and researchers: We believe in your work, and we care about the future of our state’s birdlife!

Thanks to Jeff Walk and Steve Bailey for reviewing and rating all the requests.

Congratulations to the Grant recipients! Watch for their project articles in future issues of The Meadowlark and watch for short summaries on the IOS website. Here’s a synopsis of the 2016 Grants. Where noted, individuals and organizations targeted those Grants for their donations.

Grant Recipient, Heather Herakovich, by Dee Hudson

Grant recipient, Heather Herakovich, by Dee Hudson

# Amount Name/Organization Description/Sponsor
1. $1,000 Abigail Blake-Bradshaw
U of I Urbana, Illinois Natural History Survey, and Forbes Biological Station
Wetland quality for waterbirds in Illinois.
Sponsored by DuPage Birding Club.
2. $1,000 Olivia Choy
Northeastern Illinois University
Migration and parasite communities in avian hosts.
Sponsored by IOS ($750) and COS ($250).
3. $1,000 Brett Dorak
U of I Urbana and Illinois Natural History Survey
Ecology of wintering Canada Geese in the Chicago metro area. Sponsored by IOS ($500) and individual donors ($500).
4. $1,000 Elizabeth Errickson
U of I Springfield
Winter movements and habitat use of Short-eared Owls in an agriculture-dominated landscape.
Sponsored by individual donors.
5. $1,000 Andrew Gilbert
Western Illinois University
Detection and disturbance rates of waterbirds during aerial surveys.
Sponsored by IOS.
6. $1,000 Jesse Hacker
DePaul University
Effects of urbanization on neophobic behavior and problem solving performance in American Crows.
Sponsored by IOS ($750) and COS ($250).
7. $1,000 Heather Herakovich
Northern Illinois University
The effects of bison reintroduction, prescribed fire, and time since restoration on grassland birds in tallgrass prairie.
Sponsored by DuPage Birding Club.
8. $1,267 Taylor Joray
Illinois State University
Summer origins of American Kestrels wintering in Illinois.
Sponsored by Lake-Cook Audubon.
9. $1,000 Jaime L. Lange
U of I – Springfield
Spatial and temporal interactions between Brown-headed Cowbirds and bison at Nachusa Grasslands.
Sponsored by IOS ($850) and Lake County Audubon ($150).
10. $1,000 Aderinsola Odetunde
Illinois State University
Effects of blood loss and mite infestation on nestling developmental trade-offs and parental provisioning.
Sponsored by IOS.
11. $1,000 Ben O’Neal and Heath Hagy
Franklin College and Illinois Natural History Survey
Breeding ecology of waterbirds at Emiquon Preserve.
Sponsored by Lake-Cook Audubon.
12. $1,000 Emilie A. Ospina
U of I – Urbana
The role of incubation behavior in shaping developmental physiology in a wild passerine.
Sponsored by IOS ($500) and individual donors ($500).
13. $1,000 Cassandra Wilcoxen
U of I – Urbana
Cover crops in an agricultural landscape: Beneficial to birds during spring migration?
Sponsored by IOS.

2015 IOS Grants Awards

One of IOS’s objectives is “To promote scientific research and education in order to improve knowledge and awareness of birds in Illinois”. The IOS Grants Program was initiated several years ago to support this objective with funding.

The 2015 IOS Grant Program received 10 grant requests. As a result of the generosity of several groups and individuals, 10 grants were awarded. In addition to IOS provided funds, thanks to the following groups and individuals for their generous support:

  • The DuPage Birding Club
  • The Lake-Cook Chapter of the Illinois Audubon Society
  • The Kane County Audubon Society
  • The Chicago Ornithological Society
  • Valyn P. Dall
  • Joan Norek
  • Marj Lundy and Jamie Godshalk
  • Marsha Steffen
  • Glenn Gabanski
  • Donald Dann
  • John C. and Carolyn Baker
  • Carl and Pen DauBach
  • Karen and Bob Fisher
  • Vickie Sroczynski and John Burke
  • Jeffrey Smith
  • John Heneghan
  • Jill Anderson
  • Urs Geiser
  • Steve Fluett
  • Marcia and Bob Shelby
  • Charles Wescott
  • Ted Wolff

Thanks to Jeff Walk and Steve Bailey for reviewing and rating all the requests.

Congratulations to the winners and watch for their project articles in future issues of The Meadowlark.

The following grants were awarded:

# Amount Name/Organization Description
1. $1,000 Alexander Winter
Eastern Illinois University
Study the ecological and behavioral implications of Brown-headed Cowbird parasitism on Northern Cardinals. Sponsored by Illinois Ornithological Society.
2. $980 Bryan Reiley
U of I – Champaign
Study the benefits of restored habitats for declining shrubland birds – Specifically Bell’s Vireo and Willow Flycatcher. Sponsored by Karen and Bob Fisher, Vicky Sroczynski and John Burke.
3. $1,000 Ben O’Neal and Heath Hagy
Franklin College. Illinois Natural History Survey
Determine nest success, nest density, and nesting characteristics of marsh birds and other waterbirds at Emiquon Preserve to determine if reconnection to the Illinois River affects these parameters in the future. Sponsored by the Lake-Cook Chapter of the Illinois Audubon Society.
4. $1,000 Phred Benham
U of I – Champaign
Study local adaptation to spatially varying environments in widespread species to improve our understanding of how populations might respond to future climate change. Study will use Savannah Sparrow populations. Sponsored by the DuPage Birding Club.
5. $1,000 Brett Dorak
U of I – Champaign / Illinois Natural History Survey
Study Canada Geese wintering in the Greater Chicago Metropolitan Area. Describe their home ranges, time budgets, roost selection, response to harassment, and movements that may pose a threat to human health and safety.
6. $1,000 Todd M. Jones
U of I – Champaign
Evaluate possible associations between fledgling traits and survival in the Dickcissel with an automated telemetry system. Sponsored by the DuPage Birding Club.
7. $1,000 Josh Engel A bird monitoring pilot project will be undertaken during the 2015 growing season with the goal of developing an effective bird monitoring protocol for the Montrose Beach Dunes (MBD) site. Sponsored by Illinois Ornithological Society
8. $1,000 Tim Lyons
U of I – Champaign
Genetic consequences of habitat fragmentation on ring-necked pheasants at the Sibley Pheasant Habitat Area.
9. $1,000 John R. O’Connell
Southern Illinois University – Center for Ecology – Cooperative Wildlife Research Lab
A remote sensing approach to identifying wetland availability for waterfowl, shorebirds and secretive marsh birds in Illinois using satellite radar imaging. Sponsored by the DuPage Birding Club.
10. $480 Emilie A. Ospina
U of I – Champaign
Investigate the effects of predation on nest attentiveness as well as the effects of incubation temperature on immune system response and stress response in American Robin nestlings.

2014 IOS Grants Awards

One of IOS’s objectives is “To promote scientific research and education in order to improve knowledge and awareness of birds in Illinois”. The IOS Grants Program was initiated several years ago to support this objective with funds.

The 2014 IOS Grant Program received 14 grant requests. As a result of the generosity of several groups and individuals, 12 applicants were awarded, totaling $9,742. In addition to IOS provided funds, thanks to the following for their generous help:

  • Bob and Karen Fisher and Vicky Sroczynski
  • Pat Durkin
  • Carl and Pen Daubach
  • Southern Illinois Audubon Society
  • The DuPage Birding Club
  • The Lake-Cook Audubon Society
  • Quad Cities Audubon Society
  • Kane County Audubon Society
  • Many IOS Members

Thanks again to Steve Bailey and Jeff Walk for reviewing and rating all the requests and to Bob Fisher who raised much of the funds.

Congratulations to the winners and watch for their project articles in future issues of The Meadowlark.

The following grants were awarded, with information regarding how the funding will be used:

# Amount Name/Organization Description
1. $500 Amber Wingert
U of I – Champaign
Video monitoring of Barn Owl Nests to help estimate factors influencing reproductive success in this declining species.
2. $1,000 Antonio Celis Murillo
U of I – Champaign
Genetics to help elucidate patterns of extra-territorial forays in Field Sparrows; helping to answer “Why cheat on your partner?”
3. $500 Christie Trifone-Simon
Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation
Funds would help defray costs of a 5-day educational day camp, which provides outdoor experiences, many of which are bird oriented.
4. $492 Janice Kelly
U of I – Champaign
Playback experiment to understand if Yellow Warblers use information associated with their two distinct song types during habitat selection.
5. $1,000 John Maddux
U of I – Champaign
Molecular techniques to identify the importance of bumble bees as a food source for North America songbirds. A large collaborative project that attempts to connect the population declines among songbirds and bumble bees.
6. $500 Justin Shew
Southern Illinois University – Carbondale
Hire student technicians to complete analyses on various projects including studying the factors influencing Red-winged Blackbird aggression and Brown-headed Cowbird nest predation.
7. $750 Kattie Morris
DePaul University
Cameras to investigate the competition for cavities Red-headed Woodpeckers experience during the winter and spring within Cook Co., IL.
8. $1,000 Kevin Sierzega
Southern Illinois University – Carbondale
Transportation and arthropod quantification to support ongoing research on the factors that influence migratory songbirds in southern Illinois.
9. $1,000 Maria Stager
U of I – Champaign
Genomic techniques used to understand how birds are physiologically capable to cope with environmental change. Maria is using Dark-eyed Juncos that endure winter conditions as her model species.
10. $1,000 Matthew Craffey
Eastern Illinois State University
Radio-telemetry to study the behaviors of Red-winged Blackbirds using Miscanthus, a potential new agricultural crop in the Midwest. This research will help assess the environmental impact on bird communities in response to a shift in agricultural practices.
11. $1,000 Scott Chiavacci
U of I – Champaign
Camera equipment and other materials to experimentally test for the cues used by nest predators (e.g. odor vs. visual) in central Illinois.
12. $1,000 Ben O’Neal and Heath Hagy
Franklin College and Illinois Natural History Survey
Investigation of the nest success and density of waterbirds in various habitat types at Emiquon in response to changing water levels.

2013 IOS Grants Program Sets Records!

A record 22 grant requests were received! A record 13 were funded! A record $13,000 was contributed by a record 22 organizations and individuals!

Watch for articles about each of these projects in the IOS quarterly journal, The Meadowlark. Thank you to all the individuals and organizations that made these awards possible.

Here’s a brief synopsis of the 13 grants that were awarded:

# Amount Name/Organization Description
1. $1,000 Ben O’Neal
Franklin College and Ill. Nat. Hist. Survey
Assess the nesting ecology of waterbirds and other marsh birds prior to the drawdown in the Emiquon preserve in spring/summer 2013.
2. $1,000 Amber Wingert
U of I – Champaign
Monitor the Barn Owl nest boxes in Southern Illinois to determine reproductive success, develop a model of nest box site selection and test the effectiveness of conspecific playback as a survey method.
3. $1,000 Kevin Sierzega
Southern Illinois University – Carbondale
Quantify the differences in bird community metrics, e.g., species richness, evenness and diversity during spring migration and in the breeding season across a gradient of oak-hickory and beech-maple dominance forests.
4. $1,000 Scott Chiavacci
U of I – Champaign
Determine factors affecting shrubland bird nest success and causes of nest failure in urban and rural marshlands in 8 test sites in northeastern Illinois and 3 sites in east-central Illinois.
5. $1,000 Antonio Celis Murillo
U of I – Champaign
To foray or not to foray: Extraterritorial behavior in Field Sparrows and its behavioral, morphological and reproductive correlates.
6. $1,000 Maria Stager
U of I – Champaign
Evaluate the effects of day length and temperature on seasonal variation in metabolic performance and correlated differences in underlying gene expression profiles in Dark-eyed Juncos.
7. $1,000 Mark Swanson
Field Museum and Ill. Wesleyan Univ.
Determine the interactions between morphologically similar, but genetically distinct Barred Owls of Illinois and the upper Midwest.
8. $1,000 Henry Pollock
U of I – Champaign
 Investigate thermal tolerances and responses to heat stress in a suite of Illinois birds and compare the data with similar data collected in Panama to determine how birds will respond to climate change
9. $1,000 Justin J. Shew
Southern Illinois University – Carbondale
Funds for year 3 of a 4 year study of the nesting success, species richness, species population, etc. of grassland birds in land set aside in the Conservation Reserve Program(CRP).
10. $1,000 Valerie Buxton
U of I – Champaign
Making the most of what remains: Determining urban grassland quality in Illinois. Assess how grassland patch size and landscape context affect grassland bird occurrence, abundance and nest success. Funds for year 2.
11. $1,000 Douglas R. McClain
Cooperative Wildlife Research Lab – SIU-Carbondale
Year 2 of a study to research the response of breeding wood ducks to differences in productivity within the Cache River watershed. The Cache River watershed has undergone different modifications during its history.
12. $1,000 Sarah Cleeton
U of I – Champaign
Explore the role of migratory songbirds in the spread of Lyme disease invasion (such as Lyme disease) in central Illinois
13. $1,000 Elsa Anderson
DePaul University
Assess Red-headed Woodpecker nest-tree and habitat characteristics and evaluate nesting competition in relation to nest-site success in Cook County

2012 IOS Grants Awards

One of IOS’s objectives is “To promote scientific research and education in order to improve knowledge and awareness of birds in Illinois”. The IOS Grants Program was initiated in 2004 to support this objective with grants awarded to projects relating to birds and/or birding in Illinois. Including this year’s grants, a total of 7 grants totaling $26,950 have been awarded.

The 2012 IOS Grant Program received 11 grant requests. As a result of the generosity of groups and individuals seven grants were funded. In addition to IOS provided funds, thanks to the following for their generous help:

  • Bob and Karen Fisher, Vicky Sroczynski and John Burke
  • The DuPage Birding Club
  • The Kane County Chapter of the Audubon Society
  • And Joan Norek, Jeffery Smith, Robert Shelby, Marsha Steffen, Steve Fluett, Jean and Bob Spitzer

Thanks again to Steve Bailey and Jeff Walk for reviewing and ranking all the requests. With so many worthy projects this was no easy task. Congratulations to the winners and watch for their project articles in future issues of The Meadowlark.

# Amount Name/Organization Description
1. $1,000 John Andrews
U. of I – Champaign
Heterospecific (Social attraction between species) information use and habitat selection in Grassland birds: An experiment with Eastern Meadowlarks.
2. $1,000 Evan Glynn
Eastern Illinois University
Study the songs and responses of Black-capped Chickadees, Carolina Chickadees and hybrid Chickadees.
3. $975 Valerie Buxton
U of I – Champaign
Making the most of what remains: Determining urban grassland quality in Illinois. Assess how grassland patch size and landscape context affect grassland bird occurrence, abundance and nest success.
4. $1,000 Kelly VanBeek
U of I – Champaign
Effects of alternative tillage practices on bird populations in Illinois.
5. $1,000 Chris Kirkpatrick
Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation
Funding to help pay for a June 22-23, 2012 Bio-Blitz at Wapello Land and Water Reserve in Hanover, IL. In conjunction with the Field Museum.
6. $500 Melissa Sunder
Wildlife Prairie State Park
Purchase binoculars for the Park’s youth programs. A variety of nature classes are taught for all age ranges. The Park also participates in various bird counts, International Migratory Bird Day, etc.
7. $500 Tyson R. Dallas
U of I – Champaign
Determine what habitats and habitat features are associated with breeding and foraging of Red-headed Woodpeckers in Western Illinois.