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Bryan Watts

Bryan Watts


Bryan holds the Mitchell A. Byrd Professorship of Conservation Biology at the College of William and Mary and is the Director of the Center for Conservation Biology, a research group shared by the College of William and Mary and Virginia Commonwealth University. The Center conducts research with applications to conservation problems. He has worked with several raptor species for more than 25 years focusing on both a broad range of research questions and direct population management. He has advised several graduate students working on conservation research with raptors.

Center for Conservation Biology
College of William and Mary & the Virginia Commonwealth University  PO Box 8795
Williamsburg,  VA  23187  United States
Phone: 757-221-2247 Fax: 757-221-1650
Email: bdwatt@wm.edu

   Research Interests

My research interests are broad and have always been process oriented. Rather than focusing on a narrow range of taxa my research attempts to explore general ecological principles that have broad application. Current interests include population estimation, habitat modeling, policy, migration ecology, ecological-economic tradeoffs, demography, spatial ecology and conservation limits.

Species of Interest: 
  • Osprey
  • Bald Eagle
  • Northern Harrier
  • American Kestrel
  • Peregrine Falcon
  • Barn Owl
  • Northern Saw-whet Owl


Watts, B.D., and E.K. Mojica. 2012. Use of satellite transmitters to delineate Bald Eagle communal roosts within the Upper Chesapeake Bay. Journal of Raptor Research 46:121-128.

Katzner, T., B. Smith, T.A. Miller, D. Brandes, J. Cooper, M. Lanzone, D. Brauning, C. Farmer, S. Harding, D.E. Kramar, C. Koppie, C. Maisonneuve, M. Martell, E.K. Mojica, C. Todd, J.A. Tremblay, M. Wheeler, D.F. Brinker, T.E. Chubbs, R. Gubler, K. O'Malley, S. Mehus, B. Porter, R.P. Brooks, B.D. Watts, and K.L. Bildstein. 2012. Status, biology, and conservation priorities for North America's eastern Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) population. Auk 129:168-176.

Watts, B.D., S.M. Padgett, E.K. Mojica, and B.J. Paxton. 2011. FALCONTRAK: final report. Center for Conservation Biology Technical Report Series CCBTR-11-07:1-33.

Watts, B.D. 2010. The Virginia Bald Eagle Survey: a history. Raven 81:5-7.

Watts, B.D., and A.E. Duerr. 2010. Nest turnover rate and list-frame decay in Bald Eagles: implications for the National Monitoring Plan. Journal of Wildlife Management 74:940-944.

Chen, D., R.C. Hale, B.D. Watts, M.J. La Guardia, E. Harvey, and A.K. Mojica. 2009. Species-specific accumulation of polybrominated diphenyl ether flame retardants in birds of prey from the Chesapeake Bay region, USA. Environmental Pollution 158:1883-1889.

Glass, K.A., and B.D. Watts. 2009. Osprey diet composition and quality in high- and low-salinity areas of lower Chesapeake Bay. Journal of Raptor Research 43:27-36.

Mojica, E.K., B.D. Watts, J.T. Paul, S.T. Voss, and J. Pottie. 2009. Factors contributing to Bald Eagle electrocutions and line collisions on Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. Journal of Raptor Research 43:57-61.

Potter, K.E., B.D. Watts, M.J. La Guardia, E.P. Harvey, and R.C. Hale. 2009. Polybrominated diphenyl ether flame retardants in Chesapeake Bay region, USA, Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) eggs: urban/rural trends. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 28:873-981.

Markham, A.C., and B.D. Watts. 2008. The influence of salinity on provisioning rates and nestling growth in Bald Eagles in the lower Chesapeake Bay. Condor 110:183-187.

Markham, A.C., and B.D. Watts. 2008. The influence of salinity on the diet of nesting Bald Eagles. Journal of Raptor Research 42:99-109.

Paxton, B.J., and B.D. Watts. 2008. Mass variation in Northern Saw-whet Owls: implications for current sexing criteria. Journal of Field Ornithology 79:53-57.

Watts, B.D., G.D. Therres, and M.A. Byrd. 2008. Recovery of the Chesapeake Bay Bald Eagle nesting population. Journal of Wildlife Management 72:152-158.

Blackwell, B.F., M.L. Avery, B.D. Watts, and M.S. Lowney. 2007. Demographics of Black Vultures in North Carolina. Journal of Wildlife Management 71:1976-1979.

Markham, A.C., and B.D. Watts. 2007. Documentation of infanticide and cannibalism in Bald Eagles. Journal of Raptor Research 41:41-44.

Viverette, C.B., G.C. Garman, S.P. McIninch, A.C. Markham, B.D. Watts, and S.A. Macko. 2007. Finfish-waterbird trophic interactions in tidal freshwater tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay. Waterbirds 30:50-62.

Watts, B.D., and M.A. Byrd. 2007. Impact of Hurricane Isabel on Bald Eagle nests and reproductive performance in the Lower Chespeake Bay. Condor 109:206-209.

Watts, B.D., and B.J. Paxton. 2007. Ospreys of the Chesapeake Bay: population recovery, ecological requirements, and current threats. Waterbirds 30:39-49.

Watts, B.D., G. Therres, and M.A. Byrd. 2007. Status, distribution, and the future of Bald Eagles in the Chesapeake Bay area. Waterbirds 30:25-38.

Watts, B.D., A.C. Markham, and M.A. Byrd. 2006. Salinity and population parameters of Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) in the Lower Chesapeake Bay. Auk 123:393-404.

Watts, B.D., and M.A. Byrd. 2002. Virginia Bald Eagle breeding survey: a twenty-five year summary (1977-2001). Raven 73:3-9.

Watts, B.D., M.A. Byrd, and M.U. Watts. 2004. Status and distribution of breeding Ospreys in the Chesapeake Bay: 1995-96. Journal of Raptor Research 38:47-54.

Whalen, D.M., and B.D. Watts. 2002. Annual migration density and stopover patterns of Northern Saw-whet Owls (Aegolius acadicus). Auk 119:1154-1161.

Whalen, D.M., B.D. Watts, and D.W. Johnston. 2000. Diet of autumn migrating Northern Saw-whet Owls on the eastern shore of Virginia. Journal of Raptor Research 34:42-44.

Watts, B.D., and S.C. Rothstein. 2001. Breeding status of the Northern Harrier in coastal Virginia. Raven 72:153-157.

Watts, B.D. 1999. Removal of the Chesapeake Bay Bald Eagle from the federal list of threatened and endangered species: context and consequences. Center for Conservation Biology, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA.

Brinker, D.F., K.E. Duffy, D.M. Whalen, B.D. Watts, and K.M. Dodge. 1997. Autumn migration of Northern Saw-whet Owls (Aegolius acadicus) in the Middle Atlantic and northeastern United States: what observations from 1995 suggest. Pp. 74-89 in J.R. Duncan, D.H. Johnson, and T.H. Nicholls (eds.), Biology and conservation of owls of the Northern Hemisphere. U.S.Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, General Technical Report NC-190, St. Paul, MN.

Whalen, D.M., and B.D. Watts. 1999. The influence of audio-lures on capture patterns of migrant Northern Saw-whet Owls. Journal of Field Ornithology 70:163-168.

Watts, B.D., and M.A. Byrd. 1999. Expansion of the James River Bald Eagle concentration area. Raven 70:18-23.

Watts, B.D. 1991. Effects of predation risk on distribution within and between habitats in Savannah Sparrows. Ecology 72:1515-1519.

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