Role of Birds on Farms Course - Lesson 9 Resources

Savannah Sparrow photograph by Andrew Cannizzaro

Track 5: Seeing Land Through the Eyes of Birds

Lesson 9: Seeing the Land Through the Eyes of Birds

Presenters: Dr. Ashley Kennedy - Delaware DNR & Wendell Gilgert - NRCS and Point Blue (Emeritus)

Ashley is a Board Certified Entomologist, a Science Policy Fellow of the Entomological Society of America, and an environmental scientist for the state of Delaware. During her undergraduate studies at Johns Hopkins University, she studied animal behavior and completed internships at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, the National Zoo, and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. Her doctoral dissertation research in Doug Tallamy's lab at the University of Delaware focused on bird-insect food webs, investigating which insects are the most important in birds' diets.

Wendell enjoyed a 34 year career with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) as a Conservationist and Fishery and Wildlife Biologist at the field, area, state, regional, and national levels. Upon retirement, he joined Point Blue Conservation Science to initiate and develop their Working Lands Partner Biologist program. He retired as emeritus director of that program.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the different types of cover requirements.
  • Explain why water and food resources are critical year-round.
  • Share how plants support insect food for birds, especially caterpillars.
  • Specify keystone plant species used in plantings.

Presentation Recording


WFA Publications


What are keystone plants? by Narango, Tallamy & Shropshire. 2020.

Narango, Tallamy & Shropshire. 2020. Few keystone plant genera support the majority of Lepidoptera species. Nature Communications 11:5751.

Douglas W. Tallamy. 2017. Giving Ecological Purpose to Your Landscape.