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Reesa Conrey
Reesa Conrey

​​​​​​​​​​Avian Researcher, Prairie Birds and Raptors


View Reesa's Full CV.

Contact Info

Colorado Parks and Wildlife

317 West Prospect Rd.

Fort Collins, CO 80526

Phone: 970-472-4384



Ph.D., Ecology — Colorado State University, 2010

M.S., Wildlife Biology — University of Montana, 2002

B.A., Environmental and Evolutionary Biology — Dartmouth College, 1998

Current or Recent Positions

Avian Researcher — Colorado Parks and Wildlife, 2012-Present

Wildlife Biologist, Nebraska Prairie Partners — Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory, 2011-2012

Biologist, Post-doctoral — U.S. Geological Survey, Fort Collins Science Center, 2010-2012

Current or Recent Research Projects

  • Avian response to plague management on Colorado prairie dog colonies
  • Lesser prairie-chicken demography, habitat use, and conservation practices in southeastern Colorado
  • Climate effects on nest success in shortgrass prairie birds
  • ​Breeding success, prey use, and population estimation of burrowing owls influenced by plague

Areas of Interest, Expertise

My goal is to do science that informs conservation practices for Colorado birds and other wildlife. Examples include habitat treatments on private lands that affect mountain plover and prairie-chickens and a plague vaccine for prairie dogs that affects other species associated with their colonies. I am interested in the interface of community ecology and population dynamics for species of conservation concern, for example, communities that have evolved around keystone species such as black-tailed prairie dogs. Other issues of interest include impacts of climate change and land use. I work mainly on grassland birds, especially burrowing owls, mountain plover, and songbirds.


​Conrey, R. Y., S. K. Skagen, A. A. Yackel Adams, and A. O. Panjabi. 2016. Extremes of heat, drought, and precipitation depress reproductive performance in shortgrass prairie passerines​. Ibis 158:614−629.​

Dreitz, V. J., R. Y. Conrey, and S. K. Skagen. 2012. Drought and cooler temperatures are associated with higher nest survival in Mountain Plovers​. Avian Conservation and Ecology 7:1-13. 

Gillihan, S. W., N. Drilling, and R. Y. Conrey. 2012. Pocket Guide to Birds of Nebraska. Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory, Brighton, CO.

Conrey, R.Y. 2010. Breeding success, prey use, and mark-resight estimation of burrowing owls nesting on black-tailed prairie dog towns: plague affects a non-susceptible raptor. Ph.D. Dissertation, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado.​

Conrey, R.Y. 2002. Do highways influence population connectivity in small mammals? M.S. Thesis​, University of Montana, Missoula, Montana.​