Nest-Site Selection, Ectoparasites, and Mitigation Techniques: Studies of Burrowing Owls and Artificial Burrow Systems in Southwestern Idaho

Publication Date


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Science in Raptor Biology



Major Advisor

James R. Belthoff


This thesis consists of three chapters describing my investigations of nest-site selection, ectoparasites, and nest relocations of burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia) in southwestern Idaho. The purpose of my field research was to (1) determine how chamber size and tunnel diameter influenced selection of artificial burrow systems, (2) identify ectoparasite species of owls and examine their potential effects on nesting success, site reuse, growth, and survival, and (3) investigate the efficacy of short-distance relocations of occupied burrowing owl nests. Information contained in this thesis should be of particular interest to those investigating nest-site selection processes in cavity-nesting species and to those resource managers involved with the active management and conservation of burrowing owls.

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