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10 March 2021 Landscape Composition Encompassing Cooper's Hawk Nest Sites in Western North Dakota
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The Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) is often classified as a woodland species, but it exhibits marked plasticity by nesting successfully in what was previously thought to be atypical habitat such as urban areas and sparsely wooded grasslands, including the Little Missouri National Grassland in North Dakota. Forest expansion into North Dakota grasslands is likely due to the reduction of natural disturbances such as wildfires and grazing by bison (Bison bison). From the 1970s to 2001, forest cover increased in McKenzie County, North Dakota, by .1000%. From 1950 to 1972 there were two recorded instances of nesting Cooper's Hawks in McKenzie County. In 2001, we recorded 18 active nests, 13 of which were successful, four that failed, and one with unknown fate. Using the 2001 National Landcover Dataset (NLCD), we calculated that the mean proportion of forest cover in circular plots (18.1 km2) surrounding nests was 0.21. We found no relationship between nest fate and proportion of forest land cover. Additionally, we found no significant difference in proportion of forest cover between nest sites and randomly selected sites centered on forest land cover, indicating that Cooper's Hawks were using forest land cover in proportion to its availability. Understanding the relationship between the shifting landscape composition of North Dakota and its avifauna is important for monitoring and managing breeding Cooper's Hawks.

© 2021 The Raptor Research Foundation, Inc.
Janelle M. Taylor, Robert N. Rosenfield, Robert K. Murphy, and David A. Grosshuesch "Landscape Composition Encompassing Cooper's Hawk Nest Sites in Western North Dakota," Journal of Raptor Research 55(1), 93-98, (10 March 2021).
Received: 20 March 2020; Accepted: 23 July 2020; Published: 10 March 2021

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