Abstract Title

Development and Morphological Aging Metrics of Osprey Nestlings in West Central Idaho

Disciplines

Biology | Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Abstract

Nestling development and morphological metrics provide critical information central to understanding and evaluating raptor breeding ecology. Raptor researchers thus create and utilize nestling aging guides for their species of interest. Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) are highly specialized piscivorous top predators of aquatic ecosystems. Considerably distinct, ospreys belong to the monotypic family Pandionidae. Despite osprey’s unique classification researchers have yet to create a nestling aging guide. We collected morphological and photographic data from six osprey nests in Long Valley, Idaho, to develop a photographic and descriptive osprey nestling aging guide and to determine which morphological characteristics are the best determinants of osprey age. Camera traps were installed on each nest before the breeding season and set to take time-lapse photography every 5 minutes. Nests were visited weekly to collect morphological measurements for each nestling. Here we present photographs, hatching sequence and trends in nestling development of ospreys in west central Idaho.

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Development and Morphological Aging Metrics of Osprey Nestlings in West Central Idaho

Nestling development and morphological metrics provide critical information central to understanding and evaluating raptor breeding ecology. Raptor researchers thus create and utilize nestling aging guides for their species of interest. Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) are highly specialized piscivorous top predators of aquatic ecosystems. Considerably distinct, ospreys belong to the monotypic family Pandionidae. Despite osprey’s unique classification researchers have yet to create a nestling aging guide. We collected morphological and photographic data from six osprey nests in Long Valley, Idaho, to develop a photographic and descriptive osprey nestling aging guide and to determine which morphological characteristics are the best determinants of osprey age. Camera traps were installed on each nest before the breeding season and set to take time-lapse photography every 5 minutes. Nests were visited weekly to collect morphological measurements for each nestling. Here we present photographs, hatching sequence and trends in nestling development of ospreys in west central Idaho.