Sara Kaiser

Research Ecologist


Behavior • Ecology • Evolution • Conservation

As a Research Ecologist at the Lab of Ornithology, I direct the field-based, student research and training program in avian biology at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, mentor student research, teach field courses, and provide additional, year-round training opportunities through my research program in the Caribbean Islands and locally in central New York at a migration banding station that I am working to establish.


Ph.D. Cornell University, Behavioral Ecology
M.S. Michigan State University, Ecology, Evolutionary Biology & Behavior
B.S. Iowa State University, Zoology & Genetics

My Favorite Bird

The boisterous Tui, native to New Zealand – they have their own pom poms to cheer each complicated note and awkward click and wheeze.

Recent Publications

Jones, T., N. Cooper, H. Haradon, A. Brunner, B. Dossman, M. Ward, T. S. Sillett, and S. Kaiser (2024). Considerations for radio-transmitter specifications on songbirds: color and antenna length matter too. Journal of Field Ornithology 95:art7.
Kaiser, S. A., K. C. Grabenstein, T. S. Sillett, and M. S. Webster (2023). No evidence of sex ratio manipulation by black-throated blue warblers in response to food availability. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 77:124.
Deitsch, J. F., and S. A. Kaiser (2023). Artificial light at night increases top-down pressure on caterpillars: experimental evidence from a light-naive forest. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 290:20230153.
Lewis, W. B., R. J. Cooper, R. B. Chandler, R. W. Chitwood, M. H. Cline, M. T. Hallworth, J. L. Hatt, J. Hepinstall-Cymerman, S. A. Kaiser, N. L. Rodenhouse, T. S. Sillett, et al. (2023). Climate-mediated population dynamics of a migratory songbird differ between the trailing edge and range core. Ecological Monographs 93:e1559.
Kaiser, S. A. (2022). [In press] As seasonal events shift with climate change, how nature responds tells us about the resilience of our ecosystems. Gulf of Maine Institute Journal.
Germain, R. R., M. T. Hallworth, S. A. Kaiser, T. S. Sillett, and M. S. Webster (2021). Variance in within-pair reproductive success influences the opportunity for selection annually and over the lifetimes of males in a multibrooded songbird*. Evolution 75:915–930.
Aarif, K. M., S. A. Kaiser, A. Nefla, and S. Almaroofi (2020). Over-summering abundance, species composition, and habitat use patterns at a globally important site for migratory shorebirds. The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 132:165.
Cramer, E. R. A., S. A. Kaiser, M. S. Webster, and T. B. Ryder (2020). Common field data limitations can substantially bias sexual selection metrics. American Naturalist 196:180–196.
Cramer, E. R. A., E. I. Greig, and S. A. Kaiser (2020). Strong sexual selection despite spatial constraints on extrapair paternity. Behavioral Ecology 31:618–626.
Kaiser, S. A., T. E. Martin, J. C. Oteyza, J. E. Danner, C. E. Armstad, and R. C. Fleischer (2019). Within-group relatedness and patterns of reproductive sharing and cooperation in the tropical chestnut-crested yuhina. Animal Behaviour 158:89–99.
Smith, M. G., S. A. Kaiser, T. S. Sillett, and M. S. Webster (2018). Variation in nest characteristics and brooding patterns of female Black-throated Blue Warblers is associated with thermal cues. The Auk:733–747.
Kaiser, S. A., T. E. Martin, J. C. Oteyza, C. Armstad, and R. C. Fleischer (2018). Direct fitness benefits and kinship of social foraging groups in an Old World tropical babbler. Behavioral Ecology 29:468–478.
Cramer E. R. A., Kaiser S. A., Webster M. S., Sillett T.S., and Ryder T.B. (2017). Characterizing selection in Black‐throated Blue Warblers using a sexual network approach. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 30:2177–2188.
Vitousek, M. N., B. R. Jenkins, J. K. Hubbard, S. A. Kaiser, and R. J. Safran (2017). An experimental test of the effect of brood size on glucocorticoid responses, parental investment, and offspring phenotype. General and Comparative Endocrinology 247:97–106.
Kaiser, S. A., S. A. Taylor, N. Chen, T. S. Sillett, E. R. Bondra, and M. S. Webster (2017). A comparative assessment of SNP and microsatellite markers for assigning parentage in a socially monogamous bird. Molecular Ecology Resources 17:183–193.
Kaiser, S. A., B. B. Risk, T. S. Sillett, and M. S. Webster (2017). Ecological and social factors constrain spatial and temporal opportunities for mating in a migratory songbird. The American Naturalist 189:283–296.
Holmes, R. T., S. A. Kaiser, N. L. Rodenhouse, T. S. Sillett, M. S. Webster, P. Pyle, and M. A. Patten (2017). Black-throated Blue Warbler (Setophaga caerulescens), version 1.0. Birds of the World.
Kaiser, S. A., J. E. Danner, L. Bergner, and R. C. Fleischer (2015). Identification and characterization of microsatellite loci in two socially complex old world tropical babblers (Family Timaliidae). BMC Research Notes 8:707.
Kaiser, S. A., T. S. Sillett, B. B. Risk, and M. S. Webster (2015). Experimental food supplementation reveals habitat-dependent male reproductive investment in a migratory bird. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 282:20142523.
Kaiser, S. A., T. S. Sillett, and M. S. Webster (2014). Phenotypic plasticity in hormonal and behavioural responses to changes in resource conditions in a migratory songbird. Animal Behaviour 96:19–29.
Townsend, A. K., T. S. Sillett, N. K. Lany, S. A. Kaiser, N. L. Rodenhouse, M. S. Webster, and R. T. Holmes (2013). Warm springs, early lay dates, and double brooding in a North American migratory songbird, the Black-throated Blue Warbler. PLOS ONE 8:e59467.
Sarah Kaiser
Center Biodiversity Studies & Higher Education
Website Website

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Golden-cheeked Warbler by Bryan Calk/Macaulay Library