Christopher C. Rimmer

Christopher C. Rimmer
Vermont Center for Ecostudies | VCE

About

126
Publications
14,648
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1,907
Citations
Introduction
Additional affiliations
October 2007 - present
Vermont Center for Ecostudies
Position
  • Managing Director

Publications

Publications (126)
Article
Full-text available
For many avian species, spatial migration patterns remain largely undescribed, especially across hemispheric extents. Recent advancements in tracking technologies and high‐resolution species distribution models (i.e., eBird Status and Trends products) provide new insights into migratory bird movements and offer a promising opportunity for integrati...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated mercury (Hg) blood concentrations in Bicknell’s thrush (Catharus bicknelli) and Swainson’s thrush (C. ustulatus), congeneric long-distance migratory songbirds, from 2000−2017 at a montane forest site in north-central Vermont. We analyzed variation in blood Hg of both species using mixed-effects models, incorporating atmospheric wet...
Article
Full-text available
Currently, the deployment of tracking devices is one of the most frequently used approaches to study movement ecology of birds. Recent miniaturisation of light‐level geolocators enabled studying small bird species whose migratory patterns were widely unknown. However, geolocators may reduce vital rates in tagged birds and may bias obtained movement...
Article
Full-text available
2019. Apparent survival of a range-restricted montane forest bird species is influenced by weather throughout the annual cycle. Avian Conservation and Ecology 14(2):16. https://doi. ABSTRACT. To conserve small and fragmented populations, we need an understanding of their population dynamics. With a global population estimate of < 120,000, Bicknell'...
Article
Full-text available
We compared occupancy in local assemblages of birds in forested areas across Puerto Rico during a winter before (2015) and shortly after (2018) the passage of hurricanes Irma and Maria. Using dynamic community models analyzed within a Bayesian framework, we found significant changes in detectability, with some species becoming more readily detected...
Preprint
Full-text available
We compared occupancy in local assemblages of birds in forested areas across Puerto Rico during a winter before (2015) and shortly after (2018) the passage of hurricanes Irma and Maria. Using dynamic community models analyzed within a Bayesian framework, we found significant changes in detectability, with some species becoming more readily detected...
Article
Full-text available
Despite Hispaniola's high rates of avian endemism and its importance to supporting global biodiversity, relatively little information is available on the basic biology and ecology of its resident birds, particularly the 31 species endemic to the island. Here we describe the nesting ecology and nesting success (n = 643 nests) of species of resident...
Article
The winter range of the Bicknell's Thrush (Catharus bicknelli), a globally vulnerable Nearctic-Neotropical migratory songbird, is restricted to the Greater Antilles. Most birds occur on Hispaniola, where the species exhibits sexual habitat segregation, and where the loss of its preferred wet broadleaf habitats has been severe. Conservation of femal...
Conference Paper
Methylmercury, the bioavailable form of mercury, is a neurotoxin with well-documented, adverse impacts on natural systems and wildlife populations. Most investigations of methylmercury bioavailability have focused on freshwater aquatic ecosystems; however, recent research has revealed widespread uptake and bioaccumulation in terrestrial biota, incl...
Article
Full-text available
We combined data on morphology, behavior, and gene sequences to document the first known case of hybridization within the thrush genus Catharus. During June 2008 at a montane forest site in south-central Vermont, we observed a male bird that repeatedly exhibited song characteristics of both Bicknell's Thrush (C. bicknelli) and Veery (C. fuscescens)...
Article
Full-text available
Western Chat-Tanagers (Calyptophilus tertius) are a rare and globally vulnerable songbird endemic to the island of Hispaniola. We conducted a radio-telemetry study of non-breeding Western Chat-Tanagers at two adjacent cloud forest sites in Sierra de Bahoruco in southwestern Dominican Republic during March and April of 2010. Male home ranges average...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This plan documents a strategy for mitigating impacts to breeding habitat of Bicknell's Thrush via conservation actions taken outside of the area of impact. In particular, we show how conservation of wintering habitat in Dominican Republic might be used to offset unavoidable impacts to breeding habitat in the Green Mountain and White Mountain Natio...
Poster
A new effort that uses automated cameras and recording devices to track variation in the phenology of a mountain ecosystem and to understand how changes in the timing of key biological events affects the plants and animals.
Poster
Full-text available
Combining data on morphology, behavior, and gene sequences, we document the first known case of hybridization within the thrush genus Catharus. During June of 2008, we observed a male bird at a montane forest site in south-central Vermont that repeatedly exhibited song characteristics of both Bicknell’s Thrush (C. bicknelli) and Veery (C. fuscescen...
Article
Full-text available
We analyzed temporal trends in mist-net capture rates of resident (n = 8) and overwintering Nearctic-Neotropical migrant (n = 3) bird species at two sites in montane broadleaf forest of the Sierra de Bahoruco, Dominican Republic, with the goal of providing quantitative information on population trends that could inform conservation assessments. We...
Article
Full-text available
Many fundamental aspects of migration remain a mystery, largely due to our inability to follow small animals over vast spatial areas. For more than 50 years, it has been hypothesized that, during autumn migration, blackpoll warblers (Setophaga striata) depart northeastern North America and undertake a non-stop flight over the Atlantic Ocean to eith...
Article
High-elevation ecosystems of the northeastern United States are vulnerable to deposition and environmental accumulation of atmospheric pollutants, yet little work has been done to assess mercury (Hg) concentrations in organisms occupying montane ecosystems. The authors present data on Hg concentrations in ground-foraging insectivorous songbirds, a...
Article
Full-text available
Conservation planning and implementation require identifying pertinent habitats and locations where protection and management may improve viability of targeted species. The winter range of Bicknell's Thrush (Catharus bicknelli), a threatened Nearctic-Neotropical migratory songbird, is restricted to the Greater Antilles. We analyzed winter records f...
Article
Full-text available
Despite growing concerns over mercury (Hg) exposure to humans and wildlife on a global scale, little is known about Hg bioaccumulation in the New World tropics. From 2005 to 2011, we monitored Hg concentrations in blood of nine avian species occupying a geographic range of tropical wet broadleaf sites on the island of Hispaniola, including eight pa...
Article
Full-text available
Territorial social behavior of wintering Nearctic-Neotropic migrant songbirds places males and females in direct conflict over access to winter space and resources. Outcomes of this intersexual competition can vary by species and habitat, but information has been collected for only a small subset of migrant species. We investigated the available fo...
Article
Understanding turnover rates of stable isotopes in metabolically active tissues is critical for making spatial connections for migratory birds because samples provide information about pre-migratory location only until the tissue turns over to reflect local values. We calculated stable-hydrogen isotope (δ2H) turnover rate in the red blood cells of...
Article
Full-text available
Studies of the effects of transmitters on passerines have provided mixed results, but many have revealed no negative impacts. Most such studies have been conducted during the breeding season and, as a result, little is known about the possible effects of transmitters on wintering birds. We examined the effects of transmitters on Bicknell's Thrushes...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Measuring dispersal is crucial for estimating demographic rates that inform conservation plans for rare and threatened species. We evaluated natal dispersal patterns in Bicknell's thrush (Catharus bicknelli) across most of the breeding range using a 10-year data set of stable-hydrogen isotope ratios in feathers (d 2 H F) grown on the natal area...
Conference Paper
Little is known about mercury bioaccumulation in strictly terrestrial ecosystems that are remote from point-sources of contamination. Here we show that mercury concentrations in the leaf litter and organic soil layer increased with elevation in a densely forested watershed of New York’s Catskill Mountains. Closely-related forest thrushes (genus Cat...
Data
Full-text available
Atmospheric mercury research began at the Underhill, Vermont Air Quality Site in 1992 sponsored by EPA and NOAA. The site, hosted by the University of Vermont Proctor Maple Research Center and the Vermont Monitoring Cooperative became a focus for research on the atmospheric chemistry, deposition and ecosystem cycling of mercury in New England. A co...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated sex and age ratios of wintering Bicknell's Thrush (Catharus bicknelli) across a geographic gradient of sites on Hispaniola. The island-wide proportion male was 0.64 (n  =  127), which is comparable to the known male bias in breeding areas. The proportion male varied geographically on Hispaniola, suggesting some level of habitat segr...
Article
With its large size, complex topography and high number of avian endemics, Hispaniola appears to be a likely candidate for the in situ speciation of its avifauna, despite the worldwide rarity of avian speciation within single islands. We used multilocus comparative phylogeography techniques to examine the pattern and history of divergence in 11 end...
Article
Full-text available
The Gray-crowned Palm-Tanager (Phaenicophilus poliocephalus), sometimes considered conspecific with its more widespread congener P. palmarum, is restricted to Haiti’s Tiburon Peninsula, a biodiversity hotspot threatened by extensive habitat loss. We used a multilocus phylogeographic approach to identify evolutionarily distinct populations of Phaeni...
Article
The Bicknell's thrush (Catharus bicknelli) is among North America's migratory bird species of greatest conservation concern. Protecting habitat at both ends of its range has been identified as a high priority action. An estimated 90% of the species' global population overwinters on the island of Hispaniola, where ongoing habitat loss is a severe pr...
Article
Full-text available
We used radiotelemetry to investigate the spatial behavior of wintering Bicknell's Thrushes (Catharus bicknelli) at a mid-elevation rainforest site and a high-elevation cloud-forest site in the Dominican Republic. We also analyzed blood stable carbon isotopes and fecal samples to compare thrush diets at these two floristically and climatically dist...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated mercury (Hg) concentrations in a terrestrial food web in high elevation forests in Vermont. Mercury concentrations increased from autotrophic organisms to herbivores < detritivores < omnivores < carnivores. Within the carnivores studied, raptors had higher blood mercury concentrations than their songbird prey. The Hg concentration i...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated mercury (Hg) concentrations in a terrestrial food web in high elevation forests in Vermont. Hg concentrations increased from autotrophic organisms to herbivores < detritivores < omnivores < carnivores. Within the carnivores studied, raptors had higher blood Hg concentrations than their songbird prey. The Hg concentration in the bloo...
Article
Full-text available
We banded a Bicknell's Thrush (Catharus bicknelli) on its Vermont breeding home range and recaptured the same bird less than six months later on its winter territory in the Dominican Republic. The encounter provides a rare link between known breeding and wintering sites for a Nearctic-Neotropical migratory passerine. This individual was documented...
Article
Full-text available
Many studies have demonstrated the deleterious effects of introduced predators on resident populations of island birds, but few have quantified their effect on the survival and space-use behavior of migratory species. We used radio telemetry to investigate the winter survival and roosting patterns of Bicknell's Thrush (Catharus bicknelli) at two si...
Article
Full-text available
Se hipotetiza que la disponibilidad y la distribución de recursos son los principales mecanismos ecológicos que determinan la variación en los sistemas de apareamiento de las aves. Aunque se han empleado experimentos en los que se suplementa alimento para examinar la plasticidad en los sistemas de apareamiento, la variación en las estrategias de ap...
Article
Full-text available
Aunque la presencia de varios machos alimentadores y paternidad múltiple en una misma nidada está ampliamente distribuida taxonómicamente entre aves no migratorias, esto parece ser extremadamente raro entre las migratorias. Durante un estudio demográfico de Catharus bicknelli en Vermont, Estados Unidos, observamos grupos de 2–4 machos y una hembra...
Article
Full-text available
We used five years of mist-net-capture and point-count data to quantify avian diversity in four habitats along a 1750-m elevational gradient in the Dominican Republic. These habitats include desert thorn scrub, dry forest, pine forest, and montane broadleaf forest, which together comprise more than two-thirds of existing forest on Hispaniola. In mi...
Article
Full-text available
Bicknell's Thrush (Catharus bicknelli) is a migratory songbird of high conservation concern. Populations may be limited by events on the northeastern North American breeding grounds or by events on wintering grounds in the Greater Antilles. We use mist-net captures of individuals on both the breeding and wintering grounds to investigate sex ratio v...
Article
Full-text available
The similar plumage of Bicknell's (Catharus bicknelli) and Gray-cheeked (C. minimus) Thrushes have hindered attempts to better understand the nonbreeding biology of these species. We used morphometric data, specifically primary formulae, from Bicknell's Thrushes of known sex and age throughout their breeding range in the United States and Canada to...
Article
We present the first nest descriptions for two Hispaniolan endemic songbirds. the Western Chat-tanager (Calyptophilus tertius) and Hispaniolan Highland-tanager (Xenoligea montana) from a montane broadleaf forest site in the Sierra de Bahoruco of the Dominican Republic. Single Western Chat-tanager nests were found On 17 May 7002 and 9 June 2004. Bot...
Article
The simple geographic structure of island systems often makes them tractable for studies of the patterns and processes of biological diversification. The Calyptophilus chat-tanagers of Hispaniola are of general evolutionary interest because their multiple lineages might have arisen on a single island, of conservation concern because several isolate...
Conference Paper
Population dynamics are evaluated for a high-elevation specialist, Bicknell’s Thrush (Catharus bicknelli) in a metapopulation context incorporating coarse and fine scale habitat features. Successive analysis of population viability under a multitude of environmental perturbations will clarify model sensitivity and imperative variables. The capabili...
Conference Paper
Investigations into the transfer and fate of mercury (Hg) have focused on aquatic ecosystems, as these are the habitats at greatest risk for methylmercury (MeHg) biomagnification. Deviating from such an approach, we documented MeHg availability in a terrestrial montane ecosystem using a suite of insectivorous passerines. Intensive and extensive sam...