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Marc Bechard, Ph.D.

Marc Bechard

Professor, Department of Biological Sciences
Year arrived at BSU:   1983

Mailing Address:
Department of Biology
Boise State University
Boise, ID 83725-1515

Office Location: Science Building, Room 209
Office Number: 208-426-3530
Fax Number: 208-426-1040

E-Mail Address:


  • B.A., State University of New York, Oswego, 1971. Biology
  • M.S., Washington State University, Pullman, 1974. Botany
  • Ph.D., Washington State University, Pullman, 1980. Zoology
  • Assistant Professor, University of La Verne, La Verne, CA. 1980-81
  • Assistant Professor, Marshall University, Huntington, WV. 1981-83


  • B 100 Concepts of Biology
  • B 423 General Ecology
  • B 506 Raptor Ecology
  • Z 341 Ornithology


I am interested in plants and animals, particularly birds. I have conducted botanical and air pollution research projects but more recently have turned to ecological studies of the habitat needs of such birds of prey as eagles, hawks, falcons, and ospreys with the aim of helping to preserve biological diversity.

My current interests are:

  • Northern Goshawk Breeding Ecology in aspen forests of Nevada. With the help of two graduate students, I have addressed the issue of habitat requirements of this species when nesting in an unusual setting like high- elevation aspen forests.
  • Swainson’s Hawk Migration. I am conducting satellite telemetry study in cooperation with several federal, state and private entities to document the routes and wintering areas of this species in while it migrates to Argentina.
  • Kestrel Population Ecology. I am conducting a long-term study of the longevity and lifetime reproduction of American kestrels that breed in nest boxes in an agricultural setting.


  • Bechard, M.J., and J.K. Schmutz. 1995. Ferruginous hawk (Buteo regalis). In The Birds of North America, No. 172 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, and The American Ornithologists’ Union, Washington, D.C.
  • Younk, J. V., and M.J. Bechard. 1994. Breeding ecology of the northern goshawk in high-elevation aspen forests of northern Nevada. Studies in Avian Biology 16:119-121.
  • Smith, J.M., E. Stauber, and M.J. Bechard. 1993. Identification of peregrine falcons using a computerized classification system of toe-scale pattern analysis. J. Raptor Research 27:191-195.
  • Bechard, M.J. 1982. Effect of vegetative cover on foraging site selection by Swainson’s hawks. Condor 84:153-159.
  • Bechard, M.J. 1983. Food related incidences of brood reduction in the Swainson’s hawk. Wilson Bull. 95:233-242.
  • Bechard, M.J., and C.S. Houston. 1983. Probable identity of purported rough-legged hawk nests in the U.S. and Canada. Condor 86:348-352.
  • Bechard, M.J., R.L. Knight, D.G. Smith, and R.E. Fitzner. 1990. Mutlivariate analysis of nest sites and nest habitats of sympatric buteos in Washington. J. Field Ornithology 61:159-170.
  • Knight, R.L., D.E. Anderson, M.J. Bechard, and N.V. Marr. 1989. Geographic variation in nest-defense behavior of the red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis). Ibis 131:22-26.
  • Johnson, C.G., L.A. Nickerson, and M.J. Bechard. 1987. Grasshopper consumption and summer flocks of nonbreeding Swainson’s hawks. Condor 89:676-678.
  • Bechard, M.J., B.W. Zoellick, and M. Nickerson. 1985. Accuracy in aging nestling red-tailed hawks. J. Wildl. Manage. 49:226-228.
  • Houston, C.S., and M.J. Bechard. 1984. Decline of the ferruginous hawk in Saskatchewan. American Birds 38:166- 170.