Research, Education & Conservation Grants

Drawing blood from female Mountain Bluebird Taking a blood sample from a female Mountain Bluebird. Jessica Fish

The DFO Research, Education, and Conservation Fund provides grants for projects in three areas of study: education in the knowledge of birds, research in ornithology, and conservation of birds and their habitat. In awarding grants, preference is given first to projects in the Denver metropolitan area, then Colorado's Front Range, and finally, elsewhere in the U.S.

DFO has awarded fund grants since 1994, when Mary Hope Robinson donated $15,000 to to establish DFO's Educational Endowment Fund. In 2012, the name was changed to the DFO Research, Education, and Conservation Fund. Thanks to the generosity of donors including club members, DFO is able to support more grants each year with modest research funding.

View the projects we have funded. Those in bold are linked to a report on the project.

2024 - $9888 Total
Grantee Project Amount
William Anderson Comprehensive transect sampling of the North American house wren hybrid zone $1850
Holden Fox Genoscape and Migratory Connectivity of the Loggerhead Shrike $2000
Nicolle Addison Investigating anti-predator defenses in chickadees along the Rocky Mountain Front Range $2000
Nature's Educators Presentations in Jefferson County schools $986
Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center Specialized foods and miedical supplies $2000
Friends of Dinosaur Ridge Updated signage re Hawkwatch $1052
2023 - $9050 Total
Grantee Project Amount
Sara Garcia Assessing Environmental Heterogeneity Amond Barn Swallow Nesting Sited $2000
Jack Domeika Estimating the effect of habitat quality on gene flow, gene diversity, and fitness in Flammulated Owls $2000
Ajay Patel Exploring the geographic consistency of the genetic basis of spatial cognition in mountain chickadees $1500
Susan Bennett Tabor Lake Bird Population Study $1600
Haley Kenyon The effects of color pattern differences on between- species aggressive in a Colorado Front Range avian hybrid zone $1950
2022 - $8640 Total
Grantee Project Amount
Leah Crenshaw Analyzing grassland bird song and success at the landscape-level: the impact of landscape characteristics on Western Meadowlarks (Sturnella neglecta) $1500
Evergreen Audubon Bird Nerd's summer camp scholarships $1225
William Anderson Further exploration of a front range house wren $1500
Nature's Educators Nature's Educators birding trails $1500
Mia Larrieu Quantifying effects of elevation and urbanization on chickadee nestling development along the Colorado front range $2000
Olivia Taylor Quantifying the effects of geographic isolation on song variation between populations of black-capped chickadees $915
2021 - $7478 Total
Grantee Project Amount
James Dwyer Assessing relationships between grazing management and the abundance and productivity of northeastern colorado raptors $750
Jake Bartholomew Evaluating the breeding season and foraging habits of the slate river great blue heron $1718
Cori Carver Exploring the Effects of non-native Tree Species on Chickadee Nestling Diet $1485
Mia Larrieu Exploring the effects of urbanization and elevation on chickadee nesting behavior $2000
William Anderson Hybridization between non-sister lineages of house wren along the Front Range of Colorado $1000
Noelle Mason Rate of avian telomere shortening across DNA sample types $525
2020 - $7350 Total
Grantee Project Amount
Ellie Orr Ecology of the Slate River Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) rookery and impacts of human activities $2000
Erik Funk A large chromosomal inversion explains plumage variation in a globally confusing bird system $2000
Scott Yanco Drivers of Flammulated Owl Movement Behaviors in Colorado $2000
Cori Carver Exploring the Effects of non-native Tree Species on Chickadee Nestling Diet $1350
2019 - $6500 Total
Grantee Project Amount
Rob Sparks Black Swift research relating to mapping migration patterns with the ultimate goal of determining causal factors or contributing factors to species decline. $2000
Scott Yanco Drivers of Flammulated Owl movement behaviors in southern Colorado. $2000
Kathryn Grabenstein Exploration of song dialects of Black-capped and Mountain Chickadees along the Front Range. $500
Molly McDermott Using geolocators to determine migratory paths of Barn Swallows $2000
2018 - $5800 Total
Grantee Project Amount
Scott Yanco, CU Denver Avian Habitat Selection in Flammulated Owls $1500
Rob Sparks, Bird Conservancy of Rockies Black Swift Movement Ecology Project $1000
Angela & James Dwyer, Central Plains Experimental Range & Bird Conservancy of Rockies Cattle Stocking Rates & Abundance of Northeastern CO raptors $750
Ranchlands Foundation Chico Basin Ranch Bird Banding Station & Education Program $500
Alyssa Kircher, U. of Wisconsin Greater Sage Grouse Response to Surface Mine Disturbance $1000
Tyler Michels, CU Denver Spatiotemporal Patterns of Habitat Use by Mountain Plover $1050
2017 - $6400 Total
Grantee Project Amount
T. Michels & A. Pierce, CU Denver Breeding schedules & habitat for Mountain Plovers $500
Casey Setash, CSU Cinnamon Teal nesting success in the Monte Vista NWR $1500
Katherine McGinn, Colo. College Flammulated Owl males maximize territories for breeding $500
Erin Bissell, MSU Denver Habitat at Chatfield SP and remediation after flooding $1800
Scott Yanco, CU Denver Habitat selection by Flammulated Owls before/after a burn $2100
2016 - $6000 Total
Grantee Project Amount
Amber Carver, CU Denver Breeding success in shortgrass steppe birds $1150
Casey Setash, CSU Cinnamon Teal Breeding Ecology, San Luis Valley $1000
Tyler Williams, CU Denver Clark's Nutcracker Seed Use and Spatial Dynamics in Rocky Mountain NP $750
Max Ciaglo & Ross Calhoun Flammulated Owl Fall Migration in Manitou Experimental Forest $1000
Allison Pierce, CU Denver Mountain Plovers of South Park, CO: nest survival $600
James & Angela Dwyer Raptor Ecology with adaptive grazing at Central Plains Experimental Range $500
Tyler Edmundson, BCR Summer Ornithology camp scholarships $1000
2015 - $6623 Total
Grantee Project Amount
Tyler Williams, CU Denver Co-evolution of Clark's Nutcracker and Trees in RMNP $1900
Max Ciaglo & Ross Calhoun Flammulated Owl Migration in Manitou Experimental Forest $1523
Amber Carver, CU Denver Passerine Nest Survival on Prairie Grazed in 2 Manners $1800
Tyler Edmondson, RMBO Scholarships to On the Wing birding camp in RMNP $1000
Tyler Edmondson, RMBO Two-way radios for birding camps $400
2014 - $6558 Total
Grantee Project Amount
RMBO Binoculars and Guide Books for Brighton $600
Denver Zoo Bird Diversity on Grasslands with Bison and Cattle $1000
Garolyn Gunn, Richard Levad Fund Black Swifts in Ouray $400
Boulder County Audubon Society Dodd Reservoir Restoration $500
Rob Sparks, RMBO Eastern Screech-Owl $1000
Ross Calhoun and Max Ciaglo Flammulated Owl Migration $1512.93
Amber Carver, CU Denver Grazing and Nest Survival of McCown's Longspur $1545
2013 - $5100 Total
Grantee Project Amount
Kris Haglund DMNS Archives Bailey Film Project $2000
Jessica Fish CU – Denver Bluebird Research $500
Jeff Birek RMBO Fall Bird Banding and Educational Outreach $1000
Joe Roller DFO Last Chance Habitat Restoration $600
Rob Sparks RMBO Screech Owl Research $1000
2012 - $3300 Total
Grantee Project Amount
Molly O’Malley Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy (DPS) Binoculars for science program $1000
Kim Potter RMBO Black Swift Genetics Research $1000
Brendan Doyle East High School (DPS) East Angel Wildlife Habitat Garden $300
Noe Marymor RMBO Workshop: Educating Eastern Colorado Land Managers on Wildlife Habitat $1000
2010 - $1500 Total
Grantee Project Amount
Sylvia Brockner Evergreen Bird book project $500
Birds of Prey Foundation, Broomfield Raptor rehabilitation work $1000
2008 - $1700 Total
Grantee Project Amount
East High School Birding Club, Denver Bird Habitat project $400
Joyce Gellhorn Film and educational brochure on White-tailed Ptarmigan $1000
Ph.D. Candidate CSU Studying Burrowing Owls and plague $300
1996 - $545 Total
Grantee Project Amount
Denver Audubon Society For plastic storage system for study skins and nests $225
Colorado Bird Observatory (now RMBO) Funding for supplies and teacher training $320
1995 - $300 Total
Grantee Project Amount
Tim Mitzen Scholarship to summer bird camp at Camp Chiricauhua, Arizona $300