Brian D. Peer, Ph.D.              
Department of Biological Sciences

Western Illinois University
Macomb, IL 61455
E-mail: BD-Peer@wiu.edu

Research Interests
My general interests are ecology, evolution, behavior, and ornithology. My specific area of research
interest is the coevolutionary interactions between avian brood parasites and their hosts. Brood parasites
such as the Brown-headed Cowbird lay their eggs in the nests of other birds, and rely on these hosts to
raise their young. Brood parasites have evolved a number of strategies to increase the likelihood of
successfully parasitizing their hosts, which in turn has selected for host defenses to circumvent parasitism.
It is these adaptations of parasites and counter-adaptations by their hosts that I find particularly fascinating.



52. Kuehn, M. J.*, B. D. Peer, R. A. McCleery, and S. I. Rothstein. 2016. Yellow warbler defenses are retained in the absence of brood parasitism     but enhanced by experience with cowbirds. Behavioral Ecology 27:279-286.


51. Abernathy, V. A*, and B. D. Peer. 2015. Reduced ultraviolet reflectance does not affect egg rejection by Northern Cardinals (Cardinalis                cardinalis). Wilson Journal of Ornithology.

50. Abernathy, V. A.*, and B. D. Peer. 2015. Mechanisms of avian egg recognition in hosts of the Brown-headed Cowbird: the influence of                UV-reflectance. Animal Behaviour 109:73-79.

49. McCleery, R. A., A. R.  Holdorf*, L. Hubbard*, and B.D. Peer.  2015. Maximizing the conservation value of road right-of-ways for wildlife                in an agriculturally dominated landscape. PloS ONE DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0120375.


48. Peer, B.D., and R. W. Motz. 2014. Observations of a bilateral gynandromorph Northern Cardinal. Wilson Journal of Ornithology
Featured in Science: http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2014/12/half-male-half-female-bird-has-rough-life?rss=1

47. Lang, A. K.*, E. K. Bollinger, and B. D. Peer. 2014. Effect of parasite-to-host egg ratio on egg rejection by a Brown-headed Cowbird host.             Auk: Ornithological Advances 131:694-701.

46. Abernathy, V.A*, and B.D. Peer. 2014. Intraclutch variation in egg appearance of Brown-headed Cowbird hosts. Auk: Ornithological                 Advances 131:467-475.

45. Kuehn, M. J. B. D. Peer, and S. I. Rothstein. 2014. Variation in host response to brood parasitism reflects evolutionary differences and                 not phenotypic plasticity. Animal Behaviour 88: 21-28.     


44. Rivers, J. W., M. A. Blundell, T. M. Loughin, B. D. Peer, and S. I. Rothstein. 2013.The exaggerated begging behavior of an obligate avian                brood parasite is shared with a nonparasitic close relative. Animal Behaviour 86:529-536.

43. Peer, B.D., J.W. Rivers, and S.I. Rothstein. 2013. The Brown-headed Cowbird: North America’s Brood Parasite. Chinese Birds 4:93-98.

42. Peer, B. D., J. W. Rivers, and S. I. Rothstein. 2013. Cowbirds, Conservation, and Coevolution: potential misconceptions and directions for                future research. Chinese Birds 4:15-30.

41. Robinson, S. K., S. I. Rothstein, and B. D. Peer. 2013. Nest Parasitism. The Encyclopedia of Biodiversity, 2nd Edition (S. A. Levin, ed.).            Elsevier Press.

40. Dubina, K.M.*, and B.D. Peer. 2013. Egg pecking and discrimination by female and male Brown-headed Cowbirds. Journal of Ornithology


39. Jaeckle, W., M. Kiefer*, B. Childs*, R. G. Harper, J. W. Rivers, and B.D. Peer. 2012.
Comparison of eggshell porosity and estimated gas flux             between the Brown-headed Cowbird and two common hosts. Journal of Avian Biology 43:486-490.


38. Peer, B.D. 2011. Invasion of the Emperor’s Grackle. Ardeola 58:405-409.

37. Peer, B.D., M. J. Kuehn, S. I. Rothstein, and R. C. Fleischer. 2011. Persistence of host defence
behaviour in the absence of brood
        parasitism. Biology Letters 7:670-673.

36. Peer, B. D., C. E. McIntosh, M. J. Kuehn, S. I. Rothstein, and R. C. Fleischer. 2011.
Complex biogeographic history of shrikes and its                         implications for the evolution of defenses against avian brood parasitism. Condor 113:385-394.

35. Atterberry-Jones, M*. and B. D. Peer. 2011. Social behavior in Red-headed
Woodpeckers. Meadowlark 20:6-9.


34. Peer, B.D. 2010. Conspecific brood parasitism by the Dickcissel. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 122:186-188.

33. Atterberry-Jones, M.* and B. D. Peer. 2010. Cooperative breeding by Red-headed
Woodpeckers. Wilson Journal of Ornithology                       122:160-162.

32. Peer, B. D., S. I. Rothstein, and R. A. McCleery. 2010. Intraclutch variation in egg
appearance constrains rejection of Brown-headed Cowbird         eggs in Common Grackles. Auk 127:759-764.

31. Peer, B. D., and S. I. Rothstein. 2010. Phenotypic plasticity in Common Grackles
in response to repeated brood parasitism. Auk                             127:293-299.


30. Sealy, S. G., B. D. Peer, and D. Strickland. 2009. Gray Jays accept Brown-headed Cowbird eggs. Wilson Journal of Ornithology                         121:174-177.


29. Peer, B. D., S. I. Rothstein, K. S. Delaney, and R. C. Fleischer. 2007. Defence behaviour against brood parasitism is deeply rooted in                     mainland and island scrub- jays. Animal Behaviour 73:55-63.


28. Peer, B. D., L. R. Hawkins*, E. P. Steinke*, P. B. Bollinger, and E. K. Bollinger. 2006. Eastern Bluebirds reject Brown-headed Cowbird eggs.             Condor 108:741-745.

27. Peer, B. D. 2006. American Coot parasitism on Least Bitterns. Wilson Journal of
Ornithology 118:415-418.

26. Peer, B. D. 2006. Egg destruction and egg removal by avian brood parasites:
Adaptiveness and consequences. Auk 123:16-22.


25. Rothstein, S. I., and B. D. Peer. 2005. Conservation solutions for threatened and endangered cowbird hosts: Separating fact and fiction.                 Ornithological Monographs 57:98-114.

24. Peer, B. D., S. I. Rothstein, M. J. Kuehn, and R. C. Fleischer. 2005. Host defenses
against cowbird parasitism: Implications for cowbird                     management. Ornithological Monographs 57:84-97.

23. Ortega, C. P., J. F. Chace, and B. D. Peer. 2005. Research directions and cowbird
management. Ornithological Monographs 57:1-5.

22. Ortega, C. P., J. F. Chace, and B. D. Peer, editors. 2005. Management of cowbirds
and their hosts: Balancing science, ethics, and mandates.
        Ornithological Monographs 57. 

21. Peer, B. D., S. I. Rothstein, and J. W. Rivers. 2005. First record of Bronzed
Cowbird parasitism on the Great-tailed Grackle. Wilson Bulletin             117:194-196.


20. Peer, B. D., and S. G. Sealy. 2004. Fate of grackle defenses in the absence of brood parasitism: Implications for long-term brood                             parasite-host coevolution. Auk 121:1172-1186.

19. Peer, B. D., and S. G. Sealy. 2004. Correlates of egg rejection in hosts of the
Brown-headed Cowbird. Condor 106:580-599.


18. Peer, B. D., H. J. Homan, and G. M. Linz. 2003. Impact of blackbird damage to sunflower: Bioenergetic and economic models. Ecological             Applications 13:248-256.


17. Peer, B. D., K. S. Ellison, and S. G. Sealy. 2002. Intermediate frequencies of egg ejection by Northern Mockingbirds sympatric with two                     cowbird species. Auk 119:855-858.

16. Linz, G. M., B. D. Peer, H. J. Homan, R. L. Wimberly, D. L. Bergman, and W. J. Bleier.
2002. Has an integrated pest management approach             reduced blackbird damage to sunflower? Pp. 132-137 in Human conflicts with wildlife: Economic considerations (L. Clark, ed.).                     National Wildlife Research Center, Ft. Collins, CO.

15. Sealy, S. G., D. G. McMaster, and B. D. Peer. 2002. Tactics of obligate brood parasites to
secure suitable incubators. Pp. 254-269 in Avian
        incubation: Behaviour, environment, and evolution
(D.C. Deeming, ed.). Oxford University Press, Oxford.


14. Johnson, K., and B. D. Peer. 2001. Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus). In The birds of North America, No. 576 (A. Poole and F.             Gill, eds.). Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, and American Ornithologists’ Union, Washington, DC.

13. Peer, B. D., H. J. Homan, and S. G. Sealy. 2001. Infrequent cowbird parasitism on
Common Grackles revisited: New records from the                     northern Great Plains. Wilson Bulletin 113:90-93.

12. Peer, B. D., and S. G. Sealy. 2001. Mechanism of egg recognition in the Great-tailed
Grackle. Bird Behavior 14:71-73.

11. Homan, H. J., G. M. Linz, and B. D. Peer. 2001. Dogs increase recovery of passerine
carcasses in dense vegetation. Wildlife Society                     Bulletin 29:292-296.


10. Peer, B. D., and E. K. Bollinger. 2000. Why do female Brown-headed Cowbirds remove host eggs? A test of the incubation efficiency
        hypothesis. Pp. 187-192 in Ecology and management of cowbirds and their hosts (J.N.M. Smith, T. Cook, S. I. Rothstein, S. K.                         Robinson, and S. G. Sealy, eds.). University of Texas Press, Austin.

9. Peer, B. D., S. K. Robinson, and J. R. Herkert. 2000. Egg rejection by cowbird hosts
in grasslands. Auk 117:892-901.

8. Peer, B. D., and S. G. Sealy. 2000. Conspecific brood parasitism and egg rejection in
Great-tailed Grackles. Journal of Avian Biology                 31:271-277.

7. Peer, B. D., and S. G. Sealy. 2000. Responses of Scissor-tailed Flycatchers (Tyrannus
forficatus) to experimental cowbird parasitism. Bird


6. Peer, B. D., and S. G. Sealy. 1999. Parasitism and egg puncture behavior by Bronzed and Brown-headed cowbirds in sympatry. Studies in
        Avian Biology

5. Peer, B. D., and S. G. Sealy. 1999. Laying time of the Bronzed Cowbird. Wilson
Bulletin 111:137-139.


4. Peer, B. D., and E. K. Bollinger. 1998. Rejection of cowbird eggs by Mourning Doves: A manifestation of nest usurpation? Auk 115:1057-1062.


3. Peer, B. D., and E. K. Bollinger. 1997. Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula). In The birds of North America, No. 271 (A. Poole and F. Gill,
        eds.). Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, and American Ornithologists’ Union, Washington, DC.

2. Peer, B. D., and E. K. Bollinger. 1997. Explanations for the infrequent cowbird parasitism
on Common Grackles. Condor 99:151-161.

1. Bollinger, E. K., B. D. Peer, and R. W. Jansen. 1997. Status of Neotropical migrants in
three forest fragments in Illinois. Wilson Bulletin
*student authors