Richard Hutto

Photo of Hutto, Richard

Richard Hutto

Professor Emeritus

Curriculum Vitae: View/Download CV

Personal Summary

Dr. Richard L. Hutto is Professor and immediate past Director of the Avian Science Center at the University of Montana.  Hutto has conducted research on migratory landbirds in Mexico in winter, the Southwest during spring and fall, and in the Northern Rockies in summer for more than 35 years.  In 1990, he developed the USFS Northern Region Landbird Monitoring Program, and he has been studying the ecological effects of fire on bird communities for the last 25 years.  Dr. Hutto was host of “Birdwatch,” a nationally televised PBS series that ran from 1998-2001.  Because he is moved by what birds have to teach us about land stewardship, Hutto established the Avian Science Center on the University of Montana campus to promote ecological awareness and informed decision making by listening to what western birds tell us about the ecological effects of human land-use practices. 


B.A. University of California, Los Angeles, 1971
M.S. Northern Arizona University, 1973
Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles, 1977

Courses Taught

Biology 470, Ornithology

Biology 519, Fire Ecology

Teaching Experience

Undergraduate: Montana Wildlife; Ornithology; Field Ornithology; Animal Ecology; Community Ecology; Avian Census Methods; Field Ecology; Senior Thesis

Graduate: Advanced Ornithology; Advanced Animal Behavior; Evolutionary and Behavioral Ecology; Avian Ecology; Fire Ecology; Behavioral Ecology Seminar; Ecology Seminar

Research Interests

Most of my research has revolved around landbirds in the following contexts: (1) in burned forests, (2) during the non-breeding seasons (mostly in Mexico), (3) in riparian systems, and (4) as indicators of land-use effects via effects on habitat distribution patterns.

I have enjoyed many “side projects” along the way, including (1) mixed-species flocks, (2) foraging ecology in relation to food availability, (3) Calliope Hummingbird breeding ecology, (4) desert plant associations, and (5) the beauty of science as a process.

Field of Study

Avian Ecology


  • American Institute of Biological Sciences
  • American Ornithologists’ Union—Elective Member, 1985; Fellow, 1995
  • Association for Fire Ecology
  • Audubon Society
  • Cooper Ornithological Society
  • Ecological Society of America
  • International Association of Wildland Fire
  • Society for Conservation Biology