Ryan Bourbour

Ryan Bourbour with a Barn Owl in the field

Position Title
PhD Candidate

Animal Science


I am interested in wildlife ecology and conservation, especially regarding birds of prey throughout the Americas. I am currently studying the diet of migrating raptors by analyzing trace DNA left behind on beaks and talons to investigate how important migratory songbird prey is in fueling fall migration for Sharp-shinned Hawks (Accipiter striatus) and Merlins (Falco columbarius). I am also applying this dietary study technique to investigate rodenticide exposure pathways in raptors that hunt in agricultural fields. I received a B.S. in Wildlife, Fish & Conservation Biology at UC Davis, M.S. in Avian Sciences at UC Davis, and am currently a PhD student in Ecology. Other organizations I have worked for include the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory, Belize Raptor Research Institute, and the Western Ecological Research Center of USGS.