Emma R. Borgert, Adrianna R. Burghardt, Brendan Edward Enochs, Amy Q. Friemoth


Presentation: 9:00-10:15, Kennedy Union Ballroom



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Since the start of the industrial revolution, urbanization has been taking natural habitat from species leading organisms to find alternatives for food and shelter. As cities grow and pollution increases throughout the world, renewable energy has become vital to combat global warming. This has caused for solar arrays to become a major home for wild animals. Birds have been one of the major organisms found in solar arrays, often nesting under solar panels that now occupy once wooded areas. In this study we looked at how these solar panel sites are changing bird nest dynamics. Additionally, comparing the differences of tracking solar arrays and fixed solar arrays nest architecture may have increased impacts. Nests built at the tracking sites are expected to display altered structural features including differences in depth, diameter, angle, and point of attachment, aimed at securing stability during movement. This research was conducted at two sites, Marianist Environmental Educational Center (MEEC) and The University of Dayton’s Daniel J. Curran Place. At each site fully constructed nests were identified and flagged for measurements. The following measurements were conducted at each site, nest height, diameter, depth, and attachment angle. IButton’s were also placed in 5 nests per site to accurately measure nest temperature throughout the course of one week. Statistical analyses were conducted in RStudio with the collected data. It was found that Robin nests were altering their nest structure on tracking panels. This alteration in nest architecture may allow birds to nest in novel structures like solar panels. Due to limited research done about nest alteration in solar arrays further analysis would be recommended to further study just how big the impact of urbanization has on birds.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Course Project 202380 BIO 479L M1

Primary Advisor

Chelse M. Prather

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium, College of Arts and Sciences

Institutional Learning Goals

Critical Evaluation of Our Times; Community

Robin the Nest: Fixed Solar Panels led to Smaller Nest Heights and Angles compared to Tracking Panels