Department of Biological Sciences

Brian D. Peer, Associate Professor

Ornithology, behavioral ecology, coevolution, molecular ecologyBrian D. Peer.

Contact Information:

Waggoner Hall 333
Macomb, IL 61455
(309) 298-2336

Personal Homepage


Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California & Smithsonian Institution

Ph.D - University of Manitoba, 1998
M.S. - Eastern Illinois University, 1993
B.A. - Illinois Wesleyan University, 1989

Courses Taught:

  • BIOL 350 General Ecology
  • BIOL 503 Biosystematics & Evolution
  • ZOOL 408 Field Ornithology
  • ZOOL 410 Ornithology
  • ZOOL 451 Advanced Topics in Animal Ecology
  • ZOOL 553 Animal Behavior

Research Interests:

Coevolution between avian brood parasites and their hosts; Avian Ecology; Behavioral Ecology; Molecular Ecology; Avian Conservation


  • Abernathy, V.A, and B.D. Peer. 2014. Intraclutch variation in egg appearance of Brown-headed Cowbird hosts. Auk: Ornithological Advances.
  • 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.
  • Peer, B.D., and R. W. Motz. 2014. Observations of a bilateral gynandromorph Northern Cardinal. Wilson Journal of Ornithology.
  • 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.
  • Rivers, J.W., M.A. Blundell, T.M. Loughin,B.D. Peer, and S.I. Rothstein. 2013. The exaggerated begging behaviour of an obligate avian brood parasite is shared with a nonparasitic close relative. Animal Behaviour 86:529-536.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Dubina, K.M., and Brian D. Peer. Egg pecking and discrimination by female and male Brown-headed Cowbirds. In press in Journal of Ornithology.
  • Jaeckle, W., M. Kiefer, B. Childs, R.G. Harper, J.W. Rivers, and Brian D. Peer. 2012. Comparison of eggshell porosity and estimated gas flux between the Brown-headed Cowbird and two common hosts. In press in Journal of Avian Biology.
  • Peer, Brian D. 2011. Invasion of the Emperor’s Grackle. Ardeola 58:405-409.
  • Peer, Brian 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. 10.1098/rsbl.2011.0268
  • Peer, Brian 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.
  • Peer, Brian D., and S.I. Rothstein. 2010. Phenotypic plasticity in Common Grackles in response to repeated brood parasitism. Auk 127:293-299.
  • Peer, Brian 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.
  • Atterberry-Jones, M., and Brian D. Peer. 2010. Cooperative breeding by Red-headed Woodpeckers. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 122:160-162.
  • Peer, Brian D. 2010. Conspecific brood parasitism by the Dickcissel. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 122:186-188.
  • Sealy, S.G., Brian D. Peer, and D. Strickland. 2009. Gray Jays accept Brown-headed Cowbird eggs. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 121:174-177.
  • Peer, Brian D., S.I. Rothstein, K.S. Delaney, and R.C. Fleischer. 2007. Defence behavior against brood parasitism is deeply rooted in mainland and island scrub- jays. Animal Behaviour 73:55-63.
  • Peer, Brian 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.
  • Peer, Brian D. 2006. American Coot parasitism on Least Bitterns. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 118:415-418.
  • Peer, Brian D. 2006. Egg destruction and egg removal by avian brood parasites: Adaptiveness and consequences. Auk 123:16-22.
  • Rothstein, S.I., and Brian D. Peer. 2005. Conservation solutions for threatened and endangered cowbird hosts: Separating fact and fiction. Ornithological Monographs 57:98-114. American Ornithologists’ Union, Washington, D.C.
  • Peer, Brian 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. American Ornithologists’ Union, Washington, D.C.
  • Ortega, C.P., J.F. Chace, and Brian D. Peer. 2005. Research directions and cowbird management. Ornithological Monographs 57:1-5.
  • Ortega, C.P., J.F. Chace, and Brian D. Peer, editors. 2005. Management of cowbirds and their hosts: Balancing science, ethics, and mandates. Ornithological Monographs 57. American Ornithologists’ Union, Washington, D.C.
  • Peer, Brian 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.
  • Peer, Brian 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.
  • Peer, Brian D., and S.G. Sealy. 2004. Correlates of egg rejection in hosts of the Brown-headed Cowbird. Condor 106:580-599.
  • Peer, Brian D., H.J. Homan, and G.M. Linz. 2003. Impact of blackbird damage to sunflower: Bioenergetic and economic models. Ecological Applications 13:248-256.