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The Altar Valley in southcentral Arizona was once a iallgrass prairie. Overgrazing prevented fire and spread mesquite, allowing the area, now a savanna, to be heavily used by tree-nesting raptors in summer and heavily hunted by perch-hunting raptors in winter. The breeding raptor community (over 150 pairs) consists primarily of red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis), great horned owls (Bubo virginianus), and Swainson's hawks (Buteo swainsoni). Common ravens (Corvus corax) are also common and there is a recently discovered small population of black-shouldered kites (Elanus caeruleus). Recent efforts to restore the endangered masked bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) to the area clash with habitat needs of the raptors....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Journal of Raptor Research
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Bald Eagle eggs (1968-84) were analyzed for organochlorine pesticides, PCBs and mercury. DDE declined in WI, ME and the Chesapeake Bay. DDE was most closely related to shell thickness and reproduction at sampled breeding areas. Sixteen ppm DDE (wet weight) was associated with 15% shell thinning. Reproduction was normal when eggs at sampled breeding areas contained <3.6 ppm DDE; success was nearly halved between 3.6 and 6.3 ppm and halved again when concentrations exceeded 6.3 ppm. Other contaminants were associated with poor reproduction and eggshell thinning; however, their impact appeared secondary to that of DDE.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Journal of Raptor Research
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Avulsion of the brachial plexus was documented in a Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus). A fractured scapula was also present. Cause of these injuries was not known but was thought to be due to trauma. Differentiation of musculoskeletal injury from peripheral nerve damage can be difficult in raptors. Use of electromyography and motor nerve conduction velocity was helpful in demonstrating peripheral nerve involvement. A brachial plexus avulsion was suspected on the basis of clinical signs, presence of electromyographic abnormalities in all muscles supplied by the nerves of the brachial plexus and absence of median-ulnar motor nerve conduction velocities.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Journal of Raptor Research
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We describe local, regional, and annual variation in diets of northern Spotted Owls (Strix occidentalis caurina) in Oregon based on 24 497 prey collected at 1118 owl territories in 1970-2003. The sample included 91.5% mammals, 4.3% birds, 4.1% insects, and 0.1% other prey. The diet included ???131 species, including 49 mammals, 41 birds, 3 reptiles, 1 frog, 1 crayfish, 1 scorpion, 2 snails, and 33 species of insects. On average, 91.9 ?? 0.3% (SE) of prey in the diet were nocturnal animals, 3.3 ?? 0.2% were diurnal, and 4.8 ?? 0.2% were active both day and night. Of the prey captured, 50.5 ?? 0.8% were arboreal, 18.7 ?? 0.7% were scansorial, 4.8 ?? 0.2% were aerial, and 26.0 = 0.7% were terrestrial. Mean mass of...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Journal of Raptor Research
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Red-tailed Hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) have expanded their range as trees have invaded formerly-open grasslands. Desert grasslands of southern Arizona have been invaded by mesquite trees (Prosopis velutina) since Anglo-American settlement and now support a large population of Red-tailed Hawks. We studied a population of Red-tailed Hawks in an altered desert grassland in southern Arizona. Our objectives were to determine what environmental characteristics influence Red-tailed Hawk habitat selection in mesquite-invaded desert grasslands and to evaluate the habitat quality of these grasslands for Red-tailed Hawks based on nesting density, nest success, and productivity. Red-tailed Hawks had 86% (95% C.I. = 73-99) nest...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Journal of Raptor Research
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While conducting seabird surveys along the cruise track of the Soviet oceanographic Research Vessel Akademlk Korolev in the South China Sea in late October, 1988, we encountered about 150 land birds, including about 40 raptors. Most of the raptors were small accipiters, but we also recorded small numbers of Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus) and Oriental Scops Owls (Otus sunia). We saw most of the raptors during a 3-day period in a restricted area ca 350 km southeast of the southern tip of the Indo-China Peninsula. The observations suggest that a significant raptor migration corridor exists between Viet Nam and Borneo. The behavior and body condition of the diurnal raptors suggest that they were in good health...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Journal of Raptor Research
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We studied home range and habitat use of radio-tagged Great Gray Owls (Strix nebulosa) in Yosemite, California. From 1986–90 we made 5338 relocations on nine adult and three juvenile owls. Home-range size was not correlated with number of locations and was significantly different between breeding and nonbreeding periods. Breeding female summer home range averaged 61.47 ha and during the winter 2457.27 ha, while males average 19.89 and 2112.87 ha, respectively. Juveniles and nonbreeding birds had home-range sizes intermediate between seasonal values of breeding owls. Home ranges for California Great Gray Owls were larger than has been recorded for all studies in North America, but smaller than in Europe. All owls...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Journal of Raptor Research
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We examined the use of agricultural habitats by Swainson's Hawks (Buteo swainsoni)in La Pampa and Santa Fe provinces, Argentina. We found an association of foraging Swainson's Hawks with permanent pastures such as fallow, natural, and alfalfa fields. The hawks also used plowed fields for sunning, resting, and preening. Fields planted with annual crops and pastures were used very little, except when they were cut for hay, plowed, and harvested, or when low crop height and cover allowed the hawks to land in fields. The availability of abundant, yet widely-spaced and transient food-sources, such as insect outbreaks, appeared to be the principal factor influencing habitat use by the hawks. Their reliance on agricultural...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Journal of Raptor Research
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Powerlines benefit raptors by providing enhanced nesting and roosting sites. However, they also can kill raptors by electrocution and raptors can interfere with power transmission. The electrocution problem has been reduced by correcting existing lethal lines and implementing electrocution safe designs for new lines. Remedial actions include pole modifications, perch management and insulation of wires and hardware. New line designs provide for proper insulation and adequate spacing of conductors and grounded hardware. Nesting platforms can reduce power transmission problems and enhance the benefits of nesting on powerlines. A combination of perch deterrents and insulator shields is a positive, cost-effective approach...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Journal of Raptor Research
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Parathion(phosphorothioic acid O, O-diethyl O-[4-nitrophenyl] ester) is a broad spectrum organophosphorus insecticide, used on a variety of crops and occasionally for mosquito control, and is highly toxic to birds (Smith 1987). Intentional poisoning with parathion is reported to have killed more than 8000 red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus), common grackles (Quiscalus quiscula), brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater) and European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) in two separate instances (Stone et al. 1984). Use of parathion on wheat fields has resulted in the mortality of about 1600 Canada geese (Branta canadensis) and other waterfowl in one instance (White et al. 1982) and about 200 Canada geese in another...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Journal of Raptor Research
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Many researchers have suggested that abundance of Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia) has declined in many portions of their breeding range, but a thorough review of their population trends over time is lacking. Published population trends from the North American Breeding Bird Survey program suggested that Burrowing Owl populations in the US have declined over the past 60 yr, but the declines were not considered significant until 2014. However, accurate trend estimates and the statistical significance of those estimates were hampered by low relative abundance of owls. Moreover, many authors have suggested that eradication of burrowing animals is a major cause of Burrowing Owl declines, because burrows dug by burrowing...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Journal of Raptor Research
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We reviewed diagnostic findings for 132 great horned owl (Bubo virginianus) carcasses that were submitted to the National Wildlife Health Center from 1975-93. The carcasses were collected in 24 states but most came from Colorado (N = 21), Missouri (N = 12), Oregon (N = 12), Wyoming (N = 11), Illinois (N = 10), and Wisconsin (N = 9). Forty-two birds were emaciated but presumptive causes of emaciation, including old injuries, chronic lesions in various organs, and exposure to dieldrin, were found in only 16. A greater proportion of juveniles (56%) than adults (29%) were emaciated. Twelve owls were shot and 35 died from other traumatic injuries. Poisonings were diagnosed in 11 birds, including five associated with...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Journal of Raptor Research
We conducted a survey of spotted owl (Strix occidentalis) ectoparasite richness by examining live and museum specimens of the three subspecies of spotted owl. Seven ectoparasite species from five arthropod orders were collected. A tick (Dermacentor occidentalis), a mite (Euschoengastia sp.), and a flea (Opisodasys vesperalis) were collected, but were presumed to be accidental strays from prey. Strigiphilus lice were found on all the subspecies of spotted owl, while the louse Kurodaia magna was only collected from the northern spotted owl (S. o. caurina). The hippoboscid fly Icosta americana was found on the California spotted owl (S. o. occidentalis); this species had previously been well documented in the northern...
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I used band recovery data to examine distances between banding and recovery locations for 154 nestling Florida Bald Eagles and discuss the implications for understanding natal dispersal and philopatry in this species. Band recoveries occurred in 23 U.S. states and five Canadian provinces between 1931–2005. Recovery distance from the natal nest averaged longer for the youngest age classes (ANOVA: F = 3.59; df = 5, 153; P = 0.005), for individuals banded in earlier decades (F = 1.94; df = 5, 153; P = 0.093), and for the months of May through October (F = 3.10; df = 12, 153; P< 0.001). Of 35 individuals classed as mature (≥3.9 yr old when recovered; range 3.9–36.5 yr), 31 were located within Florida, which suggested...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Journal of Raptor Research
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American Kestrels( Falco sparverius) are typically secondary-cavity nesters, and use of natural cliff cavities for nest sites is less-commonly reported. On San Clemente Island (SCI), California, however, American Kestrels nest primarily on cliffs in major canyons(93%), to a lesser extent on seacliffs(4%), as well as in man-made structures (3%). We located and mapped 99 American Kestrel territories on SCI, and recorded 11 nest-site characteristics at 40 cliff nests during 2001-02. Nest cliffs were typically fractured igneous rock with mean height of 16.1 m +_ 1.8 SE. Mean slope of nest cliffs was vertical (x=91 degrees). Nest cliffs and cavities were significantly oriented to the southeast, away from the prevailing...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Journal of Raptor Research
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Raptor migration rarely involves long-distance movements across open oceans. One exception occurs along the East-Asian Oceanic Flyway. We collected migration data at two terrestrial hawkwatch sites along this flyway to better understand open-ocean movements along this largely overwater corridor. At the northern end of the Philippines, at Basco on the island of Batan, we recorded 7587 migratory raptors in autumn 2014. Near the southern end of the Philippines, at Cape San Agustin on the island of Mindanao, we recorded 27,399 raptors migrating in autumn 2012. Chinese Sparrowhawks (Accipiter soloensis) were the most common raptors observed, making up approximately 89% and 92% of total records for Basco and Cape San...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Journal of Raptor Research
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We compared the migration ecology of two owl species that exhibit different migration strategies: the Flammulated Owl (Otus flammeolus) and the Northern Saw-whet Owl (Aegolius acadicus). During fall 1999-2004, we captured 117 Flammulated Owls and 1433 Northern Saw-whet Owls in the southern Boise Mountains of southwestern Idaho. These owl species exhibited contrasting seasonal timing and body condition. Flammulated Owl captures peaked in mid-September and Northern Saw-whet Owl captures peaked in early to mid-October. Flammulated Owls displayed greater body condition than Northern Saw-whet Owls and increasing condition scores during the season, whereas Northern Saw-whet Owls had no apparent seasonal condition patterns....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Journal of Raptor Research