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  • College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences

Kristine L. Preston

Kristine L. Preston

Ph.D., Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Bachelor's of Science Degree, Wildlife and Fisheries Biology, University of California, Davis 1988

I am investigating the behavioral responses of a small song-bird, the Wrentit (Chamaea fasciata), to different levels of nest predation risk and food availability. I am interested in the potential effect that behavioral responses may have on an individual's reproductive success and survival. I am studying how these environmental factors affect an individual's time budget and parental care. I am specifically interested in whether there is a trade-off in the time an individual spends foraging versus the time it spends in reproductive activities, particularly nest guarding. I am also investigating whether individuals alter their space use patterns and territory size in response to variations in food abundance and nest predation. Finally, I will analyze whether any behavioral responses or changes in space use correlate with reproductive success and survival. To investigate these topics, I have conducted a three year behavioral field study that incorporates a food supplementation experiment, experimental trials in which nesting adults are exposed to model nest predators, and a correlational study of predator activity. I will be completing the fourth year of field research this spring.


Pavelka, M.A., J.K. Konecny, K.L. Preston, and M.A. Grishaver. 1992. Northward migration of an adult Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus). Rapt. Res. 26(3).

Hartt, E.W., N.C. Harvey, A.J. Leete, and K. Preston. 1994. Effects of age at pairing on reproduction in captive California Condors (Gymnogyps californianus). Zoo. Biol. 13:3-11.

Harvey, N.C., E.W. Hartt, A.J. Leete, and K. Preston. 1994. Changes in incubation sharing in one pair of captive California Condors (Gymnogyps californianus). Zoo. Biol. 13:157-165.

Harvey, N.C., Preston, K.L., and A.J. Leete. 1996. Reproductive behavior in captive California Condors (Gymnogyps californianus). Zoo Biology. 15:115-125.

Preston, K.L., P.J. Mock, M.A. Grishaver, E.A. Bailey, and D.F. King. 1998. California Gnatcatcher territorial behavior. West. Birds 29:242-257.

Preston, K.L., P.J. Mock, and M.A. Grishaver. 1998. California Gnatcatcher vocalization behavior. West. Birds 29:258-268.

Grishaver, M.A., P.J. Mock, and K.L. Preston. 1998. Breeding behavior of the California Gnatcatcher in southwestern San Diego County, California. West. Birds 29:299-322.

Rotenberry, J.T., M.A. Patten, and K.L. Preston. 1999. Brewer's Sparrow (Spizella breweri). In The Birds of North America, No. 390 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.

Preston, Kristine L. 2001. Review: The California Condor: A Saga of Natural History and Conservation. Authors, N. and H. Snyder. Quarterly Review of Biology 76(3):361-362.