Elly Knight

My PhD research in the Bioacoustics Unit in Dr. Erin Bayne’s lab is focused on using acoustic signals to differentiate habitat use. I will use bioacoustic methods to study how common nighthawks respond to disturbance and succession in the boreal forest by linking habitat relationships at multiple hierarchical spatial and temporal scales. Due to its crepuscular habits, little is known about common nighthawk habitat relationships in the boreal forest, but initial modeling suggests that the boreal forest may support high population densities of common nighthawks in Canada. In general, common nighthawks are thought to defend territories for mating and nesting and exploit food resources over communal wetland areas. The two types of acoustic signals produced by common nighthawks, vocal calls and non-vocal (mechanical) wing-boom displays, can potentially be used to separate breeding territories from other scales of habitat use such as communal foraging areas. Use of acoustic signal to differentiate habitat use will be key for disentangling habitat use patterns of this federally Threatened species.



Knight E.C., N.A. Mahony, and D.J. Green. 2014. Crop type influences edge effects on the reproduction of songbirds in sagebrush habitat near agriculture. Avian Conservation and Ecology 9(1): 8. http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ACE-00662-090108.