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1 June 2011 Flushing Distances of Ferruginous Hawks Nesting in Rural and Exurban New Mexico
William H. Keeley, Marc J. Bechard
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Abstract

As natural environments become increasingly modified by humans, land managers should devise plans to protect sensitive species from human activities that disturb these species. We explored behavioral responses of nesting ferruginous hawks (Buteo regalis) to an approaching human in areas where the level of human activity on the landscaped varied. Contrary to other reports, hawks were aggressive in nest defense and female hawks defended nests more aggressively than male hawks. Adult hawks decreased nestdefense intensity as nestling age increased but increased intensity with consecutive human visits to the nest. Flushing distance was considerably higher than that documented in other studies and was negatively related to degree of urbanization. We found that a distance of 650 m prevented 95% of nest-attending ferruginous hawks from flushing in response to human intruders; thus we recommend establishing a spatial buffer of this distance or greater to minimize adverse effects of human activities on hawks nesting in New Mexico.

© 2011 The Wildlife Society.
William H. Keeley and Marc J. Bechard "Flushing Distances of Ferruginous Hawks Nesting in Rural and Exurban New Mexico," Journal of Wildlife Management 75(5), 1034-1039, (1 June 2011). https://doi.org/10.1002/jwmg.140
Received: 5 May 2009; Accepted: 14 October 2010; Published: 1 June 2011
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KEYWORDS
Buteo regalis
ferruginous hawk
flushing distance
grassland
human disturbance
nest defense
New Mexico
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