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1 September 2012 Eastern Screech-Owl Responses to Suburban Sprawl, Warmer Climate, and Additional Avian Food in Central Texas
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Abstract

Effects of suburban development (sprawl), concurrent climate and increasing avian food on a population of Eastern Screech-Owls (Megascops asio) were studied for three decades using nest boxes and natural tree-cavity nests in residential yards and adjoining natural forest in central Texas. The suburban climate was warmer by 5.7 °C associated with suburbia's heat-island effect by the last decade of study. Nesting started earlier by an average of 4.5 days annually and fledgling productivity increased by 31.4%. Avian prey increased and contributed to 93% successful annual nests in a more stable population. Bird feeders and bird baths were likely enhancing factors at residences, where owls obtained prey and used bird-bath water for drinking and bathing.

Frederick R. Gehlbach "Eastern Screech-Owl Responses to Suburban Sprawl, Warmer Climate, and Additional Avian Food in Central Texas," The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 124(3), (1 September 2012). https://doi.org/10.1676/11-157.1
Received: 13 September 2011; Accepted: 1 March 2012; Published: 1 September 2012
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