Meet Our Team

Meet Our Team

The National Aviary’s Department of Conservation and Field Research is led by Dr. Steven C. Latta. Comprised of experienced researchers and ornithologists, the department partners with organizations around the world to advance conservation research. The National Aviary is committed to educating, training, and mentoring the next generation of conservation leaders, and oversees a team of Research Associates and Student Researchers

Dr. Steven Latta, Director of Conservation and Field Research

Dr. Steven C. Latta is the Director of Conservation and Field Research at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh. A native of Michigan, he was educated at Kalamazoo College (B.A.), University of Michigan (M.S.), and University of Missouri-Columbia (Ph.D. in Avian Ecology). After graduating in 2000, he was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Missouri-St. Louis where he studied with Dr. Robert Ricklefs the evolution and diversification of avian malaria across Caribbean islands. He then served for four years as the Director of the Latin American Program at Point Reyes Bird Observatory in California, where he developed long-term monitoring programs in many countries, and trained hundreds of locally-based biologists and naturalists in standardized bird monitoring techniques. Dr. Latta joined the National Aviary team in 2006. 

Dr. Latta has worked in the Caribbean islands and Latin America for more than 25 years where his research has focused on the winter ecology of migratory birds, and understanding how migrant and resident species respond to natural and anthropogenic changes to their habitat. His other work has focused on the ecology and conservation of threatened endemics, bird use of riparian areas, the value of early-successional and agricultural habitats for birds, and population dynamics in high Andean habitats in Ecuador.

Dr. Latta’s current research uses the Louisiana Waterthrush as a model species to study population dynamics and carry-over effects on both the temperate breeding and Neotropical overwintering grounds. He is also evaluating how the degradation of streams leads to population reductions in this riparian-obligate species, with results helping to understand the environmental consequences of important water quality management issues including acid precipitation control, acid mine drainage, and the use of hydraulic fracturing to access natural gas deposits.

Dr. Latta has authored several books on the birds of Hispaniola, has published over 125 articles and book chapters, and continues to dedicate himself to training young biologists in developing countries in field research and monitoring techniques, and educating the general public on the importance of conservation. He also teaches field courses through the University of Pittsburgh where he is an Adjunct Faculty member, and serves on graduate student committees from many universities.

  • Dr. Steven Latta’s Publications

    Tinoco, B., S. C. Latta, P. Astudillo, A. Nieto, and C. H. Graham. 2021. Temporal stability in species richness but reordering in species abundances within avian assemblages of a tropical Andes conservation hot spot. Biotropica.

    Latta, S. C. 2020. [Review of]: The real James Bond: A true story of identity theft, avian intrigue and Ian Fleming (Jim Wright). Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 33: 119.

    Latta, S. C. 2020. [Review of]: Birds of the UK overseas territories (Roger Riddington, editor). Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 33:120-121.

    Latta, S. C. 2020. Ornithological literature from the Caribbean: 2020. Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 33:124-127.

    Latta, S. C. 2020. [Review of]: The Real James Bond: A True Story of Identity Theft, Avian Intrigue, and Ian Fleming. (J. Wright). Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 33:119.

    Aguilar, G., Barnuevo, E., Nieto, A., Latta, S.C., Tinoco, B.A. 2020. Relative abundance and microhabitat of four sympatric antpittas in an interandean valley of southern Ecuador. Ornitologia Neoptropical.  

    Quiroga, M. A., T. Hayes, C. Hayes, H. Garrod, L. Soares, S. Knutie, S. C. Latta, and D. L. Anderson. 2020. More than just nestlings: incidence of subcutaneous Philornis (Diptera: Muscidae) nest flies in adult birds. Parasitology Research.

    Frantz, M. W., P. B. Wood, S. C. Latta, and A. Welsh. 2020. Epigenetic response of Louisiana Waterthrush (Parkesia motacilla) related to shale gas development. Ibis.

    Latta, S. C. 2019. Ornithological literature from the Caribbean: 2019. Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 32:110-114.

    Soares, L., S. C. Latta, and R. E. Ricklefs. 2019. Neotropical migratory and resident birds occurring in sympatry during winter have distinct haemosporidian parasite assemblages. Journal of Biogeography 47:748-759. DOI: 10.1111/jbi.13760.

    Townsend, J. M., R. Aguilera Román, F. Collazo Torres, J. González Díaz, C. Degia, H. González Alonso, F. E. Hayes, L. John, S. C. Latta, L. Mujica Valdes, N. Navarro Pacheco, F. Nuñez-García, C. Peña, H. Raffaele, P. Regalado, E. Reyes Mouriño, Y. Rodríguez, B. Sánchez Oria, H. Snyder, J. Wunderle. 2019. In memoriam: Dr. James W. Wiley, 1943–2018. Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 32:65-72.

    Latta, S. C. 2019. Not all pine habitat is the same: How bird communities vary among mature Hispaniolan Pine forests shaped by fire. Caribbean Naturalist 65:1-19.

    Humphries, M. B., M. W. Barbosa De Oliveira Pil, S. C. Latta, P. P. Marra, and R. E. Ricklefs. 2019. Historical demography of Coereba flaveola on Puerto Rico. The Auk: Ornithological Advances 136:1–13. DOI: 10.1093/auk/uky017

    Latta, S. C. 2019. Ornithological literature from the Caribbean: 2018. Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 32:107-109.

    Tinoco, B. A., L. Graham, P. X. Astudillo, A. Nieto, J. M. Aguilar, S. C. Latta, and C. H. Graham. 2019. Survival estimates of bird species across altered habitats in the tropical Andes. Journal of Field Ornithology 90:105-116.

    Latta, S. C. 2018. On the relationship among birds and Trema micrantha in montane forests of Hispaniola. Novitates Caribaea 12:1-13.

    Latta, S. C., N. L. Brouwer, D. A. Mejia, and M. M. Paulino. 2018. Avian community characteristics and demographics reveal conservation value of regenerating tropical dry forest changes with forest age. PeerJ 6:e5217

    Trevelline, B., T. Nuttle, B. A. Porter, N. L. Brouwer, B. D. Hoenig, Z. D. Steffensmeier, and S. C. Latta.  2018. Stream acidification and reduced aquatic prey availability are associated with dietary shifts in an obligate riparian Neotropical migratory songbird. PeerJ 6:e5141; DOI 10.7717/peerj.5141

    Trevelline, B. K., T. Nuttle, B. D. Hoenig, N. L. Brouwer, B. A. Porter, and S. C. Latta. 2018. DNA metabarcoding of nestling feces reveals provisioning of aquatic prey and resource partitioning among Neotropical migratory songbirds in a riparian habitat. Oecologia 187:85-98.

    Latta, S. C. 2018. Ornithological literature from the Caribbean: 2017. Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 31:156-158

    Townsend, J. M., C. C. Rimmer, S. C. Latta, D. A. Mejia, E. G. Garrido, and K. P. McFarland. 2018. Nesting ecology and nesting success of resident and endemic tropical birds in the Dominican Republic. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 130:849-858.

    Latta, S. C., and P. G. Rodriguez. 2018. Notable bird records from Hispaniola and associated islands, including four new species. Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 31:34-37.

    Berkunsky, I., Quillfeldt, P., Brightsmith, D.J., Abbud, M.C., Aguilar, J.M.R.E., Alemán-Zelaya, U., Aramburú, R.M., Arce Arias, A., Balas McNab, R., Balsby, T.J.S., Barredo Barberena, J.M., Beissinger, S.R., Rosales, M., Berg, K.S., Bianchi, C.A., Blanco, E., Bodrati, A., Bonilla-Ruz, C., Botero-Delgadillo, E., Canavelli, S.B., Caparroz, R., Cepeda, R.E., Chassot, O., Cinta-Magallón, C., Cockle, K.L., Daniele, G., de Araujo, C.B., de Barbosa, A.E., de Moura, L.N., Del Castillo, H., Díaz, S., Díaz-Luque, J.A., Douglas, L., Figueroa Rodríguez, A., García-Anleu, R.A., Gilardi, J.D., Grilli, P.G., Guix, J.C., Hernández, M., Hernández-Muñoz, A., Hiraldo, F., Horstman, E., Ibarra Portillo, R., Isacch, J.P., Jiménez, J.E., Joyner, L., Juarez, M., Kacoliris, F.P., Kanaan, V.T., Klemann-Júnior, L., Latta, S.C., Lee, A.T.K., Lesterhuis, A., Lezama-López, M., Lugarini, C., Marateo, G., Marinelli, C.B., Martínez, J., McReynolds, M.S., Mejia Urbina, C.R., Monge-Arias, G., Monterrubio-Rico, T.C., Nunes, A.P., Nunes, F., Olaciregui, C., Ortega-Arguelles, J., Pacifico, E., Pagano, L., Politi, N., Ponce-Santizo, G., Portillo Reyes, H.O., Prestes, N.P., Presti, F., Renton, K., Reyes-Macedo, G., Ringler, E., Rivera, L., Rodríguez-Ferraro, A., Rojas-Valverde, A.M., Rojas-Llanos, R.E., Rubio-Rocha, Y.G., Saidenberg, A.B.S., Salinas-Melgoza, A., Sanz, V., Schaefer, H.M., Scherer-Neto, P., Seixas, G.H.F., Serafini, P., Silveira, L.F., Sipinski, E.A.B., Somenzari, M., Susanibar, D., Tella, J.L., Torres-Sovero, C., Trofino-Falasco, C., Vargas-Rodríguez, R., Vázquez-Reyes, L.D., White Jr, T.H., Williams, S., Zarza, R. & Masello, J.F. 2017. Current threats faced by Neotropical parrot populations. Biological Conservation 214:278-287.

    Latta, S. C., N. Brouwer, A. Olivieri, J. Girard-Woolley, and J. F. Richardson. 2017. Long-term monitoring reveals an avian species credit in secondary forest patches of Costa Rica. PeerJ 5:e3539; DOI 10.7717/peerj.3539

    Soares, L., S. C. Latta, and R. E. Ricklefs. 2017. Dynamics of avian haemosporidian assemblages through millennial timescales inferred from insular biotas of the West Indies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1702512114

    Hudson, L. N., S. C. Latta et al. 2016. The database of the PREDICTS (Projecting Responses of Ecological Diversity in Changing Terrestrial Systems) project. Ecology and Evolution 2016:1-44. DOI: 10.1002/ece3.2579

    Ricklefs, R. E., M. Medeiros, V. A. Ellis, M. Svensson-Coelho, J. G. Blake, B. A. Loiselle, L. Soares, A. Fecchio, D. Outlaw, P. P. Marra, S. C. Latta, G. Valkiunas, O. Hellgren, and S. Bensch. 2016. Avian migration and the distribution of malaria parasites in New World passerine birds. Journal of Biogeography. DOI:10.1111/jbi.12928

    Latta, S. C. 2016. Recent ornithological literature from the Caribbean: 2015. Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 29:52-54.

    Latta, S. C. 2016. [Review of]: Beautiful Bahama birds: Common birds of the Bahama islands. (C. Wardle, L. Gape, and P. Moore). Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 29:51.

    Trevelline, B. K., S. C. Latta, L. C. Marshall, T. J. Nuttle, and B. A. Porter. 2016. Molecular analysis of nestling diet in a long-distance Neotropical migrant, the Louisiana Waterthrush (Parkesia motacilla). Auk 133:415-428.

    Ricklefs, R. E., L. Soares, V. A. Ellis, and S. C. Latta. 2016. Haemosporidian parasites and avian host population abundance in the Lesser Antilles. Journal of Biogeography 43:1277-1286.

    Latta, S. C., S. Cabezas, D. A. Mejia, M. M. Paulino, H. Almonte, C. Miller-Butterworth, and G. R. Bortolotti. 2016. Carry-over effects provide linkages across the annual cycle of a Neotropical migratory bird, the Louisiana Waterthrush. Ibis 158:395-406.

    Latta, S. C. 2015. Recent ornithological literature from the Caribbean: 2013-2014. Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 28:35-36.

    Latta, S. C., L. C. Marshall, M. W. Frantz, and J. D. Toms. 2015. Evidence from two shale regions that a riparian songbird accumulates metals associated with hydraulic fracturingEcosphere 6 (9):1-10.

    Latta, S. C. and K. N. Latta. 2015. Do urban American Crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos) contribute to population declines of the Common Nighthawk (Chordeiles minor)? Wilson Journal of Ornithology 127:528-533.

    Latta, S. C. 2014. Recent ornithological literature from the Caribbean: 2008-2012. Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 27:43-46.

    Astudillo, P. X., G. M. Samaniego, P. J. Machado, J. M. Aguilar, B. A. Tinoco, C. H. Graham, S. C. Latta, and N. Farwig. 2014. The impact of roads on the avifauna of páramo grasslands in Cajas National Park, Ecuador. Studies on Neotropical Fauna and Environment:

    Ricklefs, R. E., D. Outlaw, M. Svensson-Coelho, M. Medeiros, V. A. Ellis and S. C. Latta. 2014. Species formation by host shifting in avian malaria parasitesProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111(41):14816-14821.

    Curti, M., H. J. Polanco, T. Hayes, J. Brocca, J. Gañan, and S. Latta. 2014. First record of Turkey Vultures (Cathartes aura) nesting on Hispaniola. Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 27:22-24.

    Latta, S. C. 2014. [Review of]: Rare Birds: The extraordinary tale of the Bermuda Petrel and the man who brought it back from extinction. (E. Gehrman). Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 27:42.

    Tinoco, B. A., P. X. Astudillo, S. C. Latta, D. Strubbe, and C. H. Graham. 2013. Influence of patch factors and connectivity on the avifauna of fragmented Polylepis forest in the Ecuadorian Andes. Biotropica 45:602-611.

    Latta, S. C. 2013. Recent ornithological literature from the Caribbean (8). Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 26(2):69-70.

    Paulino, M. M., D. A. Mejía, and S. C. Latta. 2013. First record of Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus) breeding in the West Indies. Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 26:63-65.

    Latta, S. C., L. J. Musher, K. N. Latta, and T. E. Katzner. 2013. Influence of human population size and the built environment on avian assemblages in urban green spaces. Urban Ecosystems 16:463-479.

    Latta, S. C. 2013. [Review of]: Birds of Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire. (B. DeBoer, E. Newton and R. Restall). Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 26:67.

    Latta, S. C., A. K. Townsend and I. J. Lovette. 2012. The origins of the recently discovered Hispaniolan Olive-throated Parakeet: A phylogeographic perspective on a conservation conundrum. Caribbean Journal of Science 46(2/3):143-149.

    Latta, S. C. 2012. Observation of geophagy by Hispaniolan Crossbill (Loxia megaplaga) at an abandoned bauxite mine. Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 25(2):98-101.

    Latta, S. C. 2012. Recent ornithological literature from the Caribbean (7). Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 25(2):103-104.

    Latta, S. C., H. de la Cueva, and A. B. Harper. 2012. Abundance and site fidelity of migratory birds wintering in riparian habitat of Baja California. Western Birds 43(2):90-101.

    Latta, S. C. 2012. Avian research in the Caribbean: past contributions and current priorities. Journal of Field Ornithology 83(2):107-121.

    Fahey, A. L., R. E. Ricklefs, J. A. DeWoody, and S. C. Latta. 2012. Comparative historical demography of migratory and nonmigratory birds from the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 39:400-414.

    Latta, S. C., C. A. Howell, M. D. Dettling, and R. L. Cormier. 2012. Use of data on avian demographics and site persistence during overwintering to assess quality of restored riparian habitat. Conservation Biology 26(3):482-492.

    Latta, S. C. 2012. [Review of]: Birds of the West Indies. (Norman Arlott). Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 25(2):102-103.

    Latta, S. C. and K. J. Wallace. 2012. Ruta Barrancolí: A bird-finding guide to the Dominican Republic. The National Aviary, Pittsburgh, PA. 242 pp.

    Latta, S. C. 2011. Recent ornithological literature from the Caribbean (6). Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 24(2):79-80.

    Latta, S. C. 2011. Recent ornithological literature from the Caribbean (5). Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 24(1):38-40.

    Latta, S. C., K. J. Wallace, and E. Pierson. 2011. Ruta Barrancolí: A condensed bird-finding guide to the Dominican Republic. The National Aviary, Pittsburgh, PA. 80 pp.

    Latta, S. C., K. J. Wallace, and E. Pierson. 2011. Ruta Barrancolí. Spanish version of Ruta Barrancolí: A condensed bird-finding guide to the Dominican Republic available for free download at

    RicklefsR. E., J. D. Gray, S. C. Latta, and M. S. Coelho. 2011. Distribution anomalies in avian haemosporidian parasites in the southern Lesser Antilles. Journal of Avian Biology 42:570-584.

    Lin, B. B., M. J. Chappell, J. H. Vandermeer, G. R. Smith, E. Quintero, R. Bezner-Kerr, D. M. Griffith, S. Ketcham, S. C. Latta, P. McMichael, K. L. McGuire, R. Nigh, D. Rocheleau, J. Soluri and I. Perfecto. 2011. “Effects of industrial agriculture on climate change and the mitigation potential of small-scale agro-ecological farms.” CAB Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition, and Natural Resources, Vol. 6(020): 1-18.

    Astudillo, P. X., B. A. Tinoco, C. H. Graham, and Steven C. Latta. 2011. Assessing methods for estimating minimum population size and monitoring Andean Condors (Vultur gryphus) in southern Ecuador. Ornitologia Neotropical 22:257-265.

    Sly, N. D., A. K. Townsend, C. C. Rimmer, J. M. Townsend, S. C. Latta, and I. J. Lovette. 2011. Ancient islands and modern invasions: Disparate phylogeographic histories among Hispaniola’s endemic birds. Molecular Ecology 20:5012-5024.

    Mattsson, B. J., S. C. Latta, R. J. Cooper, and R. J. Mulvihill. 2011. Latitudinal variation in reproductive strategies by the migratory Louisiana Waterthrush. Condor 113:412-418.

    Almonte-Espinosa, H. and S. C. Latta. 2011. Aspectos del comportamiento de forrajeo de la cigüita del río Parkesia  motacilla (Aves: Passeriformes: Parulidae) en época no reproductiva. Novitates Caribaea 4:100-108.

    Latta, S. C., B. A. Tinoco, P. A. Webster, and C. H. Graham. 2011. Patterns and magnitude of temporal change in avian communities in the Ecuadorian AndesCondor 113:24-40.

    Sly, N. D., A. K. Townsend, C. C. Rimmer, J. M. Townsend, S. C. Latta, and I. J. Lovette. 2010. Phylogeography and conservation of the endemic Hispaniolan Palm-Tanagers (Aves: Phaenicophilus)Conservation Genetics 11: 2121-2129.

    Latta, S. C. 2010. Recent ornithological literature from the Caribbean (4). Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 23(2):126-128.

    Latta, S. C. 2010. Recent ornithological literature from the Caribbean (3). Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 23(1):60.

    Paulino, M. M., D. A. Mejía, and S. C. Latta. 2010. A new review of the status of the Caribbean Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber) in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Bulletin of the IUCN-SSC/Wetlands International Flamingo Specialist Group; Flamingo 18: 62-66.

    Master, T. L., R. S. Mulvihill, and S. C. Latta. 2010. Louisiana Waterthrush (Seiurus motacilla). In Terrestrial vertebrates of Pennsylvania: A complete guide to species of conservation, concern (M. A. Steele, M. C. Brittingham, T. Maret and J. F. Merritt, eds.). John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD.

    Latta, S. C. and R. E. Ricklefs. 2010. Prevalence patterns of avian Haemosporida on Hispaniola. Journal of Avian Biology 41: 25-33.

    Faaborg, J.,  R. T. Holmes, A. D. Anders, K. L. Bildstein, K. M. Dugger, S. A. Gauthreaux Jr., P. Heglund, K. A. Hobson, A. E. Jahn, D. H. Johnson, S. C. Latta, D. J. Levey, P. P. Marra, C. L. Merkord, E. Nol, S. I. Rothstein, T. W. Sherry, T. S. Sillett, F. R. Thompson III, and N. Warnock. 2010. Conserving migratory landbirds in the New World: Do we know enough? Ecological Applications 20(2): 398-418.

    Latta, S. C. and R. S. Mulvihill. 2010. The Louisiana Waterthrush as an indicator of headwater stream quality in Pennsylvania. Pp. 246-258 in S. K. Majumdar, T. L. Master, M. C. Brittingham, R. M. Ross, R. S. Mulvihill, and J. E. Huffman (eds.), in Avian ecology and conservation: A Pennsylvania focus with national implications. The Pennsylvania Academy of Science, Easton, PA.

    Faaborg, J.,  R. T. Holmes, A. D. Anders, K. L. Bildstein, K. M. Dugger, S. A. Gauthreaux Jr., P. Heglund, K. A. Hobson, A. E. Jahn, D. H. Johnson, S. C. Latta, D. J. Levey, P. P. Marra, C. L. Merkord, E. Nol, S. I. Rothstein, T. W. Sherry, T. S. Sillett, F. R. Thompson III, and N. Warnock. 2010. Recent advances in understanding migration systems of New World land birds. Ecological Monographs 80(1): 3-48.

    Latta, S. C. 2010. [Review of]: An inventory of breeding seabirds of the Caribbean. (Patricia E. Bradley and Robert L. Norton, editors). Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 23(2):125-126.

    Latta, S. C. 2010. [Review of]: Checklist of the Birds of Aruba, Curaçao and Bonaire, South Caribbean. (T. G. Prins, J. H. Reuter, A. O. Debrot, J. Wattel and V. Nijman). Condor 112:631-633.

    Latta, S. C. 2010. [Review of]: The Birds of Barbados. (P. A. Buckley, Edward B. Massiah, Maurice B. Hutt, Francine G. Buckley, and Hazel F. Hutt). Condor 112:631-633.

    Latta, S. C. 2010. [Review of]: A Photographic Guide to the Birds of Jamaica. (Ann Haynes-Sutton, Audrey Downer and Robert Sutton)Condor 112:631-633.

    Latta, S. C. 2009. [Review of]: A guide to the birds of Anguilla. (Steve H. Holliday, Karim V. D. Hodge, and Damien E. Hughes). Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 22(2): 117-118.

    Latta, S. C. 2009. [Review of]: Birds of Northern South America: An identification guide. (Robin Restall, Clemencia Rodner, and Miguel Lentino). Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 22(1):55-57.

    Latta, S. C. 2009. Recent ornithological literature from the Caribbean (2). Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 22(2): 118-120.

    Latta, S. C. 2009. Recent ornithological literature from the Caribbean (1). Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 22(1): 57-60.

    Mulvihill, R. S., S. C. Latta, and F. L. Newell. 2009. Temporal constraints on the incidence of double brooding in the Louisiana Waterthrush (Seiurus motacilla). The Condor 111:341-348

    Mejía, D. A., M. M. Paulino, K. Wallace, and S. C. Latta. 2009. Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus): A new species for Hispaniola. J. Caribbean Ornithology 22(2):


    Latta, S. C. and J. Faaborg. 2009. Migratory birds in the Caribbean: Benefits of studies of over-wintering birds for understanding resident bird ecology and promoting critical development of conservation capacity. Conservation Biology 23:286-293.

    Tinoco, B. A., P. X. Astudillo, S. C. Latta and C. H. Graham.  2009.  Distribution, ecology, and conservation of an endangered Andean hummingbird: the Violet-throated Metaltail (Metallura baroni). Bird Conservation International 19:63-76.

    Mulvihill, R. S., F. L. Newell, and S. C. Latta. 2008. Effects of acidification on the breeding ecology of a stream-dependent songbird, the Louisiana Waterthrush (Seiurus motacilla). Freshwater Biology 53: 2158-2169.

    Rimmer, C. C., L. G. Woolaver, R. K. Nichols, E. M. Fernandez, S. C. Latta, and E. Garrido. 2008. First description of nests and eggs of two Hispaniolan endemic species: Western Chat-tanager (Calyptophilus tertius) and Hispaniolan Highland-tanager (Xenoligea montana).  Wilson Journal of Ornithology 120:190-195.

    Townsend, A. K., C. C. Rimmer, S. C. Latta, and I. J. Lovette.  2007.  Phylogeographic concordance of nuclear and mitochondrial gene genealogies in the single-island avian radiation of Hispaniolan Chat-tanagers (Aves: Calyptophilus).  Molecular Ecology 16:3634-3642.

    Latta, S. C. and C. C. Rimmer. 2007. Biodiversidad de las aves en la Española / Biodiversity of birds on Hispaniola.  Pp. 2-8 in Hispaniola: A photographic journey through island biodiversity / Hispaniola: Biodiversidad a través de un recorrido fotográfico. (E. Fernandez) Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass.

    Latta, S. C. 2007. [Review of]: Dominica’s birds. (Arlington James, Stephen Durand, and Bertrand Jno. Baptiste).  Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 19(2):119-120.

    Latta, S. C. 2007. [Review of]: A bibliography of ornithology in the West Indies. (James W. Wiley).  Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 19(2):118-119.

    Latta, S. C. 2007. [Review of]: Aves acuáticas en los humedales de Cuba. (Lourdes Mugica Valdés, Dennis Denis Ávila, Martín Acosta Cruz, Ariam Jiménez Reyes, and Antonio Rodríguez Suárez).  Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 19(2):117-118.

    Landestoy, M. A.; P. G. Rodriguez, and S. C. Latta. 2006. Three new migratory bird species reported from Hispaniola.  J. Caribbean Ornithology 19(2):113-115.

    Santana E., S. Contreras, J. Schondube, H. Verdugo, N. Villalpando, B. J. Cruz, J. C. Gómez, J. Carrillo, B. Claudette, I. Ruán, R. Partida, S. Guallar, and S. Latta. 2006. Demografía y uso de hábitat de Passerina versicolor en la región de la Sierra de Manantlán, Jalisco. DGVS – CONANP, Distrito Federal, Mexico.

    Sonoran Joint Venture Technical Committee.  Beardmore, C. J., ed. 2006. Sonoran Joint Venture: Bird Conservation Plan, Version 1.0. Tucson, Arizona: Sonoran Joint Venture.

    Latta, S. C., C. C. Rimmer, A. R. Keith, J. W. Wiley, H. A. Raffaele, K. P. McFarland, and E. M. Fernandez. 2006. Birds of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J.

    Latta, S. C., C. C. Rimmer, A. R. Keith, J. W. Wiley, H. A. Raffaele, K. P. McFarland, and E. M. Fernandez. 2006. Aves de la República Dominicana y Haiti. Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J.

    Latta, S. C., C. C. Rimmer, A. R. Keith, J. W. Wiley, H. A. Raffaele, K. P. McFarland, and E. M. Fernandez. 2006. Les oiseaux d’Haïti et de la République Dominicaine. Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J.

    Latta, S. C. 2006. [Review of]: Studies in Trinidad and Tobago ornithology honouring Richard ffrench. (F. E. Hayes and S. A. Temple, editors).  Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 18:115-116.

    Latta, S. C. and K. Wallace. [Review of]: 2006. Birds of the West Indies. (H. Raffaele, J. Wiley, O. Garrido, A. Keith, and J. Raffaele).  Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 18:116-117.

    Latta, S. C. 2005. Bird monitoring working group of the SCSCB: Towards all-species monitoring and expanded training opportunities in the Caribbean.  J. Caribbean Ornithology 18:109-114.

    Latta, S. C. 2005. Bird monitoring symposia and workshop: Strategies for monitoring birds in the Caribbean – How to design and carry out a monitoring program.  J. Caribbean Ornithology 18:83-84.

    Latta, S. C. 2005. [Review of]: Biometrics of birds throughout the Greater Caribbean basin. (W. J. Arendt, J. Faaborg, G. E. Wallace, and O. H. Garrido). Wilson Bulletin 117:108-110.

    Ricklefs, R. E., B. Swanson, S. M. Fallon, A. Martinez, A. Scheuerlein, J. Gray, and S. C. Latta. 2005. Community relationships of avian malaria parasites in southern Missouri. Ecological Monographs 75:543-559.

    Latta, S. C., and E. Fernandez. 2005. Avian conservation planning in the Caribbean: experience and recommendations from the Dominican Republic. In Bird Conservation Implementation and Integration in the Americas: Proceedings of the Third International Partners in Flight Conference 2002, Volume 1. (C. J. Ralph and T. D. Rich, eds.). Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-191. Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Albany, California.

    Latta, S. C., C. J. Ralph, and G. Geupel. 2005. Strategies for the conservation monitoring of permanent resident landbirds and wintering Neotropical migrants in the Americas. Ornitología Neotropical 16:163-174.

    Latta, S. C. 2005. Complementary areas for conserving avian diversity on Hispaniola. Animal Conservation 8:69-81.

    Ricklefs, R. E., S. M. Fallon, S. C. Latta, B. L. Swanson, and E. Bermingham. 2005. Migrants and their parasites: A bridge between two worlds. Pp. 210-221 in R. Greenberg and P. Marra (eds.), Birds of two worlds. The ecology and evolution of migratory birds. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London.

    Fallon, S. M., R. E. Ricklefs, S. C. Latta, and E. Bermingham. 2004. Temporal stability of insular avian malarial parasite communities. Proc. Roy. Soc. London Series B: Biological Sciences 271:493-500.

    Latta, S. C. 2003. Effects of scaley-leg mite infestations on body condition and site fidelity of migratory warblers in the Dominican Republic. Auk 120:730-743.

    Latta, S. C., A. Tossas, A. Sutton, H. Gonzalez, P. B. Hamel, and D. DeSante. 2003. Research, monitoring, and conservation of Neotropical migratory land birds in the West Indies: A report to the Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds (SCSCB) by the Neotropical Migratory Bird Working Group of the SCSCB. J. Caribbean Ornithology 16(1):1-19.

    Latta, S. C., C. C. Rimmer, and K. P. McFarland. 2003. Winter bird communities in four habitats along an elevational gradient on Hispaniola. Condor 105:179-197.

    Keith, A., J. Wiley, S. Latta, and J. Ottenwalder. 2003. The birds of Hispaniola: Haiti and the Dominican Republic. British Ornithologists’ Union, Tring, UK. 293 pp.

    Latta, S. C. 2002. Aves comunes de la República Dominicana / Common birds of the Dominican Republic. Sociedad Ornitológica de la Hispaniola. 67 pp.

    Latta, S. C., and J. Faaborg. 2002. Demographic and population responses of Cape May Warblers wintering in multiple habitats. Ecology 83:2502-2515.

    Latta, S. C., M. L. Sondreal, and D. A. Mejía. 2002. Breeding behavior of the endangered Hispaniolan Crossbill (Loxia megaplaga). Ornitologia Neotropical 13:225-234.

    Latta, S. C., and K. C. Parkes. 2002. A possible Dendroica kirtlandii hybrid from Hispaniola. Wilson Bulletin 113:378-383.

    Latta, S. C. 2001. Lesser Nighthawk (Chordeiles acutipennis). In The Texas Breeding Bird Atlas (K. L. P. Benson and K. A. Arnold eds.). Texas A & M University System, College Station and Corpus Christi, TX. Available at:

    Latta, S. C., and J. Faaborg. 2001. Winter site fidelity of Prairie Warblers in the Dominican Republic. Condor 103:455-468.

    Latta, S. C., and B. M. O’Connor. 2001. Patterns of Knemidokoptes jamaicensis (Acari: Knemidokoptidae) infestations among eight new avian hosts in the Dominican Republic. J. Med. Entomol. 38(3):437-440.

    Latta, S. C., H. Gamper, and J. Tietz. 2001. Revising the convergence hypothesis of avian use of honeydew: evidence from Dominican subtropical dry forest. Oikos 93:250-259.

    Latta, S. C., and R. Lorenzo (editors). 2000. Results of the national planning workshop for avian conservation in the Dominican Republic. Dirección Nacional de Parques, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. 137 pp.

    Latta, S. C., M. L. Sondreal, and C. R. Brown. 2000. A hierarchical analysis of nesting and foraging habitat for the conservation of the Hispaniolan White-winged Crossbill (Loxia leucoptera megaplaga). Biological Conservation 96:139-150.

    Howell, C. A., S. C. Latta, T. M. Donovan, P. A. Porneluzi, G. R. Parks, and J. Faaborg. 2000. Landscape effects mediate breeding bird abundance in Midwestern forests. Landscape Ecology 15: 547-562.

    Wunderle, J. M., Jr., and S. C. Latta. 2000. Winter site fidelity of Nearctic migrants in shade coffee plantations of different sizes in the Dominican Republic. Auk 117: 596-614.

    Latta, S. C. 2000. Making the leap from researcher to planner: lessons from avian conservation planning in the Dominican Republic. Conservation Biology 14:132-139.

    Latta, S. C., and C. Brown. 1999. Autumn stopover ecology of the Blackpoll Warbler (Dendroica striata) in thorn scrub forest of the Dominican Republic. Can. J. Zoology 77:1147-1156.

    Latta, S. C., and C. A. Howell. 1999. Common Pauraque (Nyctidromus albicollis). In The Birds of North America, No. 429 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists’ Union, Washington, D. C.

    Latta, S. C., and M. L. Sondreal. 1999. Observations on the abundance, site persistence, home range, foraging, and nesting of the Pine Warbler on Hispaniola, and first record of ground nesting for this species. Ornitologia Neotropical 10:43-54.

    Latta, S. C. 1999. [Review of]: Nightjars: A guide to the nightjars, nighthawks, and their relatives. (N. Cleere). Birding 31:471-473.

    Latta, S. C. 1999. [Review of]: A sound guide to nightjars and related nightbirds. (R. Ranft and N. Cleere).  Birding 31:471-473.

    Latta, S. C. (editor). 1998. Recent ornithological research in the Dominican Republic / Investigaciones ornitológicas recientes en la República Dominicana. Ediciones Tinglar, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. 130 pp.

    Klein, N. K., F. H. Sheldon, K. Wallace, E. Cuevas, and S. C. Latta. 1998. Use of a small water reservoir by locally rare birds in the Dominican Republic. El Pitirre 11(2):36.

    Latta, S. C., and J. M. Wunderle, Jr. 1998. The assemblage of birds foraging in native West Indian pine (Pinus occidentalis) forests of the Dominican Republic during the nonbreeding season. Biotropica 30:645-656.

    Wunderle, J. M., Jr., and S. C. Latta. 1998. Avian resource use in Dominican shade coffee plantations. Wilson Bulletin 110:255-265.

    Latta, S. C., F. Rivas, and C. Brown. 1998. A Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus) in the Dominican Republic. El Pitirre 11:17.

    Latta, S. C., and C. Brown. 1998. Unusual birds from the Dominican Republic, including three new species of Neotropical migrants. El Pitirre 11:18.

    Latta, S. C., K. C. Parkes, and J. M. Wunderle., Jr. 1998. A new intrageneric Dendroica hybrid from Hispaniola. Auk 115:533-537.

    Latta, S.C. 1997. Two new species of birds for Hispaniola: Wood Thrush and Black-legged Kittiwake. El Pitirre 10:59.

    Latta, S. C., F. M. Rivas, and N. Lopez. 1997. Confirmation of the Olive-throated Parakeet (Aratinga nana) in the Dominican Republic. El Pitirre 10:56.

    Latta, S. C., and M. Baltz. 1997. Population limitation in Neotropical migratory birds: Comments on Rappole and McDonald (1994). Auk 114:754-762.

    Latta, S. C., and M. E. Baltz. 1997. Lesser Nighthawk (Chordeiles acutipennis). In The Birds of North America, No. 314 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists’ Union, Washington, D.C.

    Baltz, M. E., and S. C. Latta. 1997. Cape May Warbler (Dendroica tigrina). In The Birds of North America, No. 332 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists’ Union, Washington, D.C.

    Latta, S. C., and J. M. Wunderle, Jr. 1996. The composition and foraging ecology of mixed-species flocks in pine forests of Hispaniola. Condor 98:595-607.

    Latta, S. C., and J. M. Wunderle, Jr. 1996. Ecological relationships of two todies in Hispaniola: effects of habitat and flocking. Condor 98:769-779.

    Wunderle, J. M., Jr., and S. C. Latta. 1996. Avian abundance in sun and shade coffee plantations and remnant pine forest in the Cordillera Central, Dominican Republic. Ornitologia Neotropical 7:19-34. 

    Latta, S. C. 1996. First report of “Brewster’s Warbler” in Hispaniola. El Pitirre 9:2-3.

    Latta, S.C., J. M. Wunderle, Jr., E. Terranova, and M. Pagan. 1995. An experimental study of nest predation in a subtropical wet forest following hurricane disturbance. Wilson Bull. 107:590-602.

    Wunderle, J. M., Jr., and S. C. Latta. 1994. Population biology and turnover of Nearctic migrants wintering in small coffee plantations in the Dominican Republic. J. fur Ornithologie 135:477.

    Cassirer, E. F., A. Breault, P. Clarkson, D. L. Genter, R. I. Goudie, B. Hunt, S. C. Latta, G. H. Mittelhauser, M. McCollough, G. Schirato, and R. L. Wallen. 1993. Status of Harlequin Ducks (Histrionicus histrionicus) in North America: Report of the Harlequin Duck Working Group. Idaho Fish and Game, Lewiston, ID. 83 pp.

    Latta, S. C. 1993. Distribution and status of the Harlequin Duck (Histrionicus histrionicus) in Oregon.  Pp. 35-44 in Status of Harlequin Ducks (Histrionicus histrionicus) in North America: Report of the Harlequin Duck Working Group. Idaho Fish and Game, Lewiston, ID. 83 pp.

    Gibbs, H. L., S. C. Latta, and J. P. Gibbs. 1987. Effects of the 1982-1983 El Niño event on Blue-footed Booby and Masked Booby populations on Isla Daphne Major, Galapagos. Condor 89:440-442.

    Hart, David D., and S. C. Latta. 1986. Determinants of ingestion rates in filter feeding larval blackflies (Diptera:Simuliidae). Freshwater Biology 16:1-14.

Robert S. Mulvihill

Robert S. Mulvihill, the National Aviary’s Ornithologist, credits his mother’s casual backyard bird feeding hobby for his early interest in birdwatching. In particular, it was her copies of the books American Birds in Color by Hal Harrison (1948), T. Gilbert Pearson’s 1944 classic Birds of America, and Chester Reed’s ground-breaking pocket-sized guide to Land Birds East of the Mississippi that were his entrée into the world of birds and birdwatching.  The deal was sealed when his family built a cabin on Stoughton Lake in Jennerstown, Somerset County, PA—from then on birds he knew well on paper came to life before his eyes every weekend!  It also put him geographically closer to Powdermill Nature Reserve, which he and his mother visited for the first time when he was 14 years old.

After a summer education internship at Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Mulvihill began volunteering at Powdermill regularly in fall 1978 when he was in college. He received his B.S. in Education (secondary education/biology) from the University of Pittsburgh in 1980, and he was hired full-time as a bander and education specialist at Powdermill in 1983.  While working full-time, Mulvihill earned an M.S. in Biology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1993.

During his nearly 30-year tenure at Powdermill, Mulvihill banded several hundred thousand birds, from hummingbirds to hawks.  He has conducted long-term field research on several bird species, including Dark-eyed Junco, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, and Louisiana Waterthrush.  His research on migratory birds has taken him to Mexico and Central America.  He has authored more than thirty peer-reviewed scientific articles, edited volumes on the conservation of Pennsylvania birds, written dozens of popular articles about birds and nature for newspapers and magazines, and given hundreds of talks about birds and bird-banding research throughout the United States, as well as Mexico, the United Kingdom, and Canada.  

Mulvihill has extensive experience with “community science” programs to advance the study of birds and increase people’s appreciation of them.  He served as a regional coordinator and species account author for the first Atlas of Breeding Birds in Pennsylvania from 1983-1989, and served as the statewide project coordinator and co-editor of the Second Atlas of Breeding Birds in Pennsylvania from 2004-2010.  In 2013, Mulvihill brought Neighborhood Nestwatch, a community science project developed by the Smithsonian Institution, to backyard bird-lovers in the greater Pittsburgh area.  He also participates in Project Owlnet, banding Northern Saw-whet Owls at a public park during their migration through western Pennsylvania; and the Hummer/Bird Study Group, banding “winter” hummingbirds in Pennsylvania and surrounding states.  He regularly organizes and takes part in several local Christmas Bird Counts and leads dozens of bird walks throughout the Pittsburgh area. 

Mulvihill takes great pride in having trained and mentored more than a hundred students throughout his career, many of whom have gone on to pursue graduate degrees and lead productive careers in ornithology and conservation biology.  He has received awards in recognition of outstanding efforts on behalf of bird conservation from the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania (W. E. Clyde Todd Award) and the Pennsylvania Society for Ornithology (Golden Pileated Award and Earl Poole Award).

In The News

See All News

Kidsburgh’s 2023 big guide to summer camps in Pittsburgh and the region | Kidsburgh

The National Aviary summer camps are superhero-themed and focus on the amazing adaptations that birds possess.

Read More »

7 Adorable Proposal Stories – & What We Can Learn From Them |

On one particular occasion, the National Aviary was able to pull off a grand proposal that included penguins playing as the true love masterminds behind it all.

Read More »

Feed A Sloth At National Aviary In Pennsylvania For An Adorable Adventure | Only in Your State

Explore the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, a family-friendly destination that’s home to countless birds and a few mammals – from penguins and bald eagles to sloths.

Read More »

How Are Visitors — And Birds — Reacting To The National Aviary’s New Wetlands? | Pittsburgh Magazine

Four months after the National Aviary opened its $3 million renovated Wetlands exhibit, the space is getting high marks — not only from visitors, but also from the birds.

Read More »