Abstract Title

Post-fledging Behavior of Western Screech-Owls in Idaho

Disciplines

Behavior and Ethology | Ornithology | Zoology

Abstract

Although common in western North America, the ecology of Western Screech-Owls (Megascops kennicottii) is poorly studied. For many birds, the post-fledging period is also poorly understood because of the difficulty of tracking newly fledged young. In raptors such as owls, the post-fledging period is unique in that it is generally longer than other species of birds. Our goal was to examine the post-fledging behavior of Western Screech-Owls. We studied owls in the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area and used radio-telemetry to help overcome the difficulty of observing screech-owls. We radio-tagged nestlings shortly before they fledged so we could monitor them throughout the post-fledging period. By locating owls, we quantified movements of owls after fledging, their roosting behavior in relation to the nest, proximity of family members, habitat use, and the timing of brood break-up and dispersal. Our study helps further understanding of the post-fledging ecology of raptors and the behavior of Western Screech-Owls.

Comments

Poster #W48

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Post-fledging Behavior of Western Screech-Owls in Idaho

Although common in western North America, the ecology of Western Screech-Owls (Megascops kennicottii) is poorly studied. For many birds, the post-fledging period is also poorly understood because of the difficulty of tracking newly fledged young. In raptors such as owls, the post-fledging period is unique in that it is generally longer than other species of birds. Our goal was to examine the post-fledging behavior of Western Screech-Owls. We studied owls in the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area and used radio-telemetry to help overcome the difficulty of observing screech-owls. We radio-tagged nestlings shortly before they fledged so we could monitor them throughout the post-fledging period. By locating owls, we quantified movements of owls after fledging, their roosting behavior in relation to the nest, proximity of family members, habitat use, and the timing of brood break-up and dispersal. Our study helps further understanding of the post-fledging ecology of raptors and the behavior of Western Screech-Owls.