David King David King

Adjunct Associate Professor, Research Wildlife Biologist

USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station, Amherst


Areas of specialization

Forest Wildlife Management

Research Description

I study wildlife ecology and conservation, particularly in relation to habitat management. Neotropical migrant songbirds are my specialty; however I also work with other taxa including mammals, snakes, native bees and non-passerines, as well as Paleotropical migrants. My research includes the study of forest bird responses to different silvicultural systems, forest roads and urban development, the abundance and nesting success of shrubland birds in relation to forest management, powerline transmission corridors, wildlife openings and pitch pine-scrub oak barrens, and the habitat selection and habitat-specific survival of birds during the post-fledging period. I conduct local and regional studies of the elevational distribution and ecology of obligate spruce-fir birds, including analyses of the effects of climate change and other anthropogenic stressors on their populations. I study habitat-specific abundance and survival of priority migrant birds during the non-breeding period in managed and natural habitats, as well as carryover effects using stable isotopes, and migratory stopover using nanotags. These findings are synthesized and integrated into regional assessments and optimization procedures to provide science-based recommendations for accommodating native biodiversity in the face of anthropogenic influences. My work takes place throughout eastern North American, as well as Central America, the Caribbean, Asia and Central Europe.

Current Student Research Projects

Carryover effects in prairie warblers, Massachusetts and Bahamas, Michael Akresh, Ph.D.

Developing monitoring tools for conservation in Belize, Brett Bailey, Ph. D.

Opportunities for bird conservation on small diversified farms, Isabel Brofsky, MS.

Direct versus indirect effects of climate on montane birds, Tim Duclos, MS.

Nest predators in suburban conservation areas, Massachusetts, Melanie Klein, MS. (co-advised with Warren)

Ecological importance of spruce plantations for bird conservation, Calvin Ritter, MS.

Migration and Stopover of Migrating Songbirds within the Connecticut River valley, Ruebesam, MS.

Stopover and movements of migrating land birds, Gulf of Maine, Jennifer Smetzer, Ph.D.

Habitat Selection of Breeding Whippoorwills at Fort Drum, NY Spiller, MS.

Tornado Impacts on Bird Communities – USFWS Stevenson, MS.

Recent Grants

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Lake States Pollinator Project, 2017, USFS R9 – $63,577 (with J. Milam)

Early-successional Shrubland Habitat Decision Support Tool, 2016, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation – $10,000, (with K. Nislow)

Market-based Solution for Priority Migrant Bird Conservation in Coffee Growing Regions, 2016, American Bird Conservancy – $17,250

Ecological Value of Spruce Plantations in Massachusetts, 2015, Mass Department of Conservation and Recreation – $75,423, (with S. DeStefano)

Whip-poor-will habitat selection at Fort Drum, 2015, New York. Army National Guard – $97,271

An Evaluation of Bird Conservation and Ecosystem Services on Northeastern Farms, 2015, NRCS – $49,886

Understanding the Impacts of Climate Change on Obligate Spruce-fir Birds, 2015. Northeast Science Collaborative, $44,900, (with Co-PIs W. DeLuca, T. D’Amato and A. Weiskittel)

Golden-winged Warbler Sexual Habitat Segregation and Contrasts with Blue-winged Warblers during the Non-breeding Season, 2015, USFWS R3 – $29,627 (with R. Chandler)

Modeling Migratory Landbird Stopover Habitat Using Nanotags, 2014, USFWS R5 – $212,946 (with Co-PIs J. Smetzer and C. Griffin)

Assessment of the Effects of Conservation Practices on at-risk Shrubland Birds in the Eastern and Central U.S, 2014, NRCS – $141,654

Developing Guidelines for Promoting Pollinator Services and Shrubland Birds in the Northeast, 2013, NRCS – $68,691

Modeling Effects of Climate Change on Spruce-Fir Forest Ecosystems and Associated Priority Bird Populations, 2013, Northeast Climate Science Center – $148,828 (Co-PI with T. D’Amato)

Inventory and Monitoring Tools for Protected Area Management in Belize, 2013, National Audubon Society – $121,633

Recent Publications

Book chapters

King, D.I., et al. 2012. Community-based agroforestry initiatives in nicaragua and Costa Rica. In Simonetti, J.A., A.A. Grez & C.F. Estades (Eds). 2012. Biodiversity conservation in agroforestry landscapes: challenges and opportunitites. Editorial Universitaria, Santiago.

Refereed Journal Articles

Akresh, M.A. and D.I. King. 2016. Eastern Whip-poor-will Breeding Ecology in Relation to Habitat Management in a Pitch Pine-Scrub Oak Barren. Wildlife Society Bulletin 40:97–105.

Byers, B.E., M.E. Akresh and D.I. King. 2016. Song performance and male quality in prairie warblers. Ethology 122:660–670.

Chandler, R. B., S. Tolfree, J. Gerwin, C. Smalling, L. Chavarría-Duriaux, G. Duriaux, and D. I. King. 2016. Conservation: Implications of Golden-winged Warbler social and foraging behaviors during the nonbreeding season. Pp. 175–192 in H. M. Streby, D. E. Andersen, and D. A. Buehler (editors). Golden-winged Warbler ecology, conservation, and habitat management. Studies in Avian Biology (no. 49), CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.

Deluca. W. V. and D. I. King. 2016. Adjacent bird communities converge along an elevation gradient in the northern Appalachian Mountains. Journal of Ornithology. doi 10.1007/s10336-016-1414-7.

King, D. I., R. B. Chandler, C. Smalling, R. Trubey, R. Raudales, and T. Will. 2016. Nonbreeding Golden-winged Warbler: Habitat: status, conservation, and needs. Pp. 29–38 in H. M. Streby, D. E. Andersen, and D. A. Buehler (editors). Golden-winged Warbler ecology, conservation, and habitat management. Studies in Avian Biology (no. 49), CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.

Ralston, J., W. V. DeLuca, R. E. Feldman and D. I. King. 2016. Population trends influence species ability to track climate change. Global Change Biology. doi: 10.1111/gcb.13478

Ralston, J., W. V.,DeLuca,  R. E. Feldman and D. I. King. 2016. Realized climate niche breadth varies with changes in abundance and distribution in North American birds. Global Ecology and Biogeography doi: 10.1111/gcb.13478.

Rohrbaugh, R.W., D. A. Buehler, S. Barker Swarthout, D. I. King, J. L. Larkin, K. V. Rosenberg, A. M. Roth, R. Vallender, and T. Will. 2016. Conservation perspectives: Review of new science and primary threats to Golden-winged Warblers. Pp. 207-215 in H. M. Streby, D. E. Andersen, and D. A. Buehler (editors). Golden-winged Warbler ecology, conservation, and habitat management. Studies in Avian Biology (no. 49), CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL

Streby, H. M., R. W. Rohrbaugh, D. A. Buehler, D. E. Andersen, R. Vallender, D. I. King, J. L. Larkin, and T. Will. 2016. Research on golden-winged warblers: recent progress and current needs. In H. M. Streby, D. E. Andersen, and D. A. Buehler (editors). Golden-winged Warbler ecology, conservation, and habitat management. Studies in Avian Biology (no. 49), CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.

Schlossberg, S. and D. I. King. 2015. Measuring the effectiveness of conservation programs for shrubland birds. Global Ecology and Conservation 4: 658–665

Akresh, M.A. and D.I. King. 2015. Observations of New Bird Species for San Salvador Island, The Bahamas. Caribbean Naturalist 26: 1-10

Akresh, M., D. I. King and R.T. Brooks. 2015. Demographic Response of a Shrubland Bird to Habitat Creation, Succession, and Disturbance in a Dynamic Landscape. Forest Ecology and Management 336:72–80

Byers, B.B., M.A. Akresh and D.I. King. 2015. A proxy of social mate choice in prairie warblers is correlated with consistent, rapid, low-pitched singing. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 69:1275-1286

Ralston, J., D. I. King, W. V. DeLuca, G. J. Niemi, M. J. Glennon, J. C. Scarl, and J. D. Lambert. 2015. Analysis of combined data sets yields trend estimates for vulnerable spruce-fir birds in northern United States. Biological Conservation 187: 270-278.

Hamel, P.B., D. A. Buehler, D. King, C. Macias-Caballero, K. Purcell, S. H. Stoleson, and C. G. Smith III. 2014. Importance of Oak Forest Ecosystems to Wood Warblers in the West ern Hemisphere. Pages 369-369 In Proceedings 19th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; 2014 March 10-12; Carbondale, IL. General Technical Report NRS-P-142. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 388 p. CDROM.

Labbe, M.A. and King, D.I., 2014. The effect of local and landscape-level characteristics on the abundance of forest birds in early-successional habitats during the post-fledging season in western Massachusetts. PloS one, 9(8), p.e106398.

Kwit, C., King, D.I., Collins, B. and Swanson, M.E., 2014. Conservation importance of early post-disturbance temperate forests.

Auer, S.K. and King, D.I., 2014. Ecological and life‐history traits explain recent boundary shifts in elevation and latitude of western North American songbirds. Global ecology and biogeography, 23(8), pp.867-875.

Deluca, W.V. and King, D.I., 2014. Influence of hiking trails on montane birds. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 78(3), pp.494-502.

Smetzer, J.R., King, D.I. and Schlossberg, S., 2014. Management regime influences shrubland birds and habitat conditions in the Northern Appalachians, USA. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 78(2), pp.314-324.

King, D.I. and Schlossberg, S., 2014. Synthesis of the conservation value of the early-successional stage in forests of eastern North America. Forest Ecology and Management, 324, pp.186-195.

Other Publications