Nest Defense

Ohio Wesleyan Student Explores House Wren Behavior

By Cole Hatcher

Ross Eggleston ’22

Name: Ross Eggleston ’22
Hometown: Lancaster, Ohio
Major: Pre-Professional Zoology
Minor: Chemistry
OWU Connection Experience: Ohio Wesleyan’s Summer Science Research Program (SSRP)

Eggleston is spending 10 weeks studying the “Behavior, Physiology, and Reproductive Success in North American House Wrens” under the mentorship of Dustin Reichard, Ph.D., assistant professor of Zoology.

What I am Researching

“I am studying nest defense behaviors of house wrens, a cavity nesting bird, against predators that commonly feed on house wren eggs and hatchlings.

“I hope to learn more about how wrens respond to and deal with predators, especially if there is a risk to the parent’s own safety, and if there is consistency across different types of nest predators.”

What I Hope to Learn

“This type of behavioral research could provide more insight into what combination of behavioral traits leads to the greatest breeding success in this species.

“This research experience ties in neatly with many of the field classes that I have previously taken and expands on concepts from the lab and lecture sides of those classes as well.”

My Plans After Graduation

“This program will help me a lot in the future, as I currently plan on continuing onto graduate school, so the SSRP is providing me with invaluable experience in experimentation, research, and field and lab work.”

Why I Chose Ohio Wesleyan

“The Zoology and Botany-Microbiology departments are amazing and provide many opportunities for working directly with professors and for travel-learning. OWU also allows me to continue my athletic careers in wrestling and track and field.”