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1 October 2006 Landscape Correlates of Reproductive Success for an Urban–Suburban Red-Tailed Hawk Population
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We studied the reproductive success of an urban–suburban red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) population in southeast Wisconsin, USA, over a 14-year period, and we used productivity as a measure of habitat quality. Red-tailed hawk reproductive success for our study in southeast Wisconsin, USA, is consistent with other studies across North America, averaging 80.1% nesting success and 1.36 young per laying pair. Productivity for 1994 was significantly greater than other years. Red-tailed hawk productivity, an index of habitat quality, varied with habitat composition surrounding nest sites. Wetland area was the only habitat type that was significantly greater for low-productivity sites, indicating that wetlands were not beneficial for red-tailed hawk productivity in our study area. Urban habitat characteristics (i.e., area of roads and high-density urban land) were greater for high-productivity sites, and the landscape consisted of smaller habitat patches. This indicates that urban–suburban locations provided high-quality habitat for red-tailed hawks in our study area. Higher productivity in high-density urban areas suggests that the urban red-tailed hawk may be a source, not a sink, population in the metropolitan Milwaukee area. Increased nesting on human-made structures in urban locations and enhanced reproductive success for these nests reinforce this hypothesis and suggest that red-tailed hawks are adapting to this urban environment. Resource managers and urban land-use planners can incorporate high-quality red-tailed hawk habitat characteristics into urban land-use plans, thus insuring that individuals with increased fitness persist in this urban landscape.

WILLIAM E. STOUT, STANLEY A. TEMPLE, and JOSEPH M. PAPP "Landscape Correlates of Reproductive Success for an Urban–Suburban Red-Tailed Hawk Population," Journal of Wildlife Management 70(4), 989-997, (1 October 2006).[989:LCORSF]2.0.CO;2
Published: 1 October 2006

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