Scott Sillett is a research wildlife biologist and head of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center. He investigates the ecology and behavior of both migratory and resident bird species. His research emphasizes experimental and multi-decade studies of wild bird populations. Sillett joined the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center in 2002

Sillett's projects include:

    • Behavioral and demographic responses of migratory birds to environmental variation
    • Integrating knowledge of local adaptation, ecosystem engineering and anthropogenic effects into conservation efforts for island birds
    • Ecology of bird populations throughout the annual cycle

Research Interests

Avian ecology, population biology, animal behavior, conservation biology, life history of migratory birds, ecological impacts of climate change.


Channel Islands: A Living Laboratory

Scientists are learning more about the adaptations and conservation strategies that help the Channel Island's native birds, like the island scrub-jay, survive.

Climate Change in Hubbard Brook Forest

Scientists are investigating how climate change affects migratory songbirds, such as the black-throated blue warbler and the ovenbird.

Painted Bunting

Scientists are tracking painted buntings to learn more about their migration routes and advance conservation efforts.

R Package MigConnectivity

Migratory connectivity describes how populations overlap throughout the annual cycle. For birds, this can include phases of breeding, migrating and overwintering.

Winter Ecology in Jamaica

Every winter, Smithsonian scientists head to Jamaica to see how North America's migratory birds fare during their nonbreeding season.