Dr. Jeff Hoover is an Avian Ecologist with the Illinois Natural History Survey within the Institute for Natural Resource Conservation at the University of Illinois. As part of his research program he has been studying the behavioral ecology and conservation of birds in the Cache since 1993.


Birds serve as a useful group of organisms for measuring the effects and success of bottomland forest restoration activities. This presentation will highlight how restoration activities such as off-channel wetland restoration and re-forestation that reduces forest fragmentation benefit breeding birds. In addition, I will discuss how long-term songbird research in the Cache River watershed is allowing us to answer some challenging questions including: If you build it, will they come?; and Do migratory songbird kids produced in the Cache return to breed in the Cache? Finally, I will briefly mention some of our ongoing research including bird use of canebrakes and how 17 years of land acquisition and conversion to forest is affecting the abundance, diversity and nesting success of birds.