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1 October 2017 Winter Breeding and Summer Nonbreeding Home Ranges of Bald Eagles from Louisiana
Nickolas R. Smith, Alan D. Afton, Thomas J. Hess
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Abstract

Home range size, location, and movements between home ranges may differ markedly within species. Some populations of Bald Eagles breed in summer and move south in winter, whereas others breed in winter and move north in summer, while even others stay in the same area all year. We studied winter breeding and summer nonbreeding home range sizes and locations for 10 Bald Eagles (five adults, three subadults, and two subadults that became adults) captured in Louisiana and tracked with GPS satellite transmitters. Individuals were tracked from 2012–2014, during which, all spent the winter breeding season in Louisiana and all migrated north to Canada for at least one summer nonbreeding season. Most held clearly defined home ranges, which varied from 19.7–2368.3 km2, with no significant difference between adults and subadults, winter breeding and summer nonbreeding ranges, year, or their interactions. All nesting home ranges were less than 66 km2 and, on average, nonnesting home rages were 730.3 ± 183.4 km2; however, there was no significant difference in home range size between nesting and nonnesting adults on winter breeding grounds. Individuals exhibited a high degree of fidelity to winter breeding home ranges and relatively high fidelity to summer nonbreeding home ranges. Our baseline estimates of home range size and fidelity for adults and subadults on their winter breeding and summer nonbreeding areas provides insight into the spatial requirements of Bald Eagles, whereas locations and movements between these areas provides insight into intraspecific variation among populations.

Nickolas R. Smith, Alan D. Afton, and Thomas J. Hess "Winter Breeding and Summer Nonbreeding Home Ranges of Bald Eagles from Louisiana," The American Midland Naturalist 178(2), 203-214, (1 October 2017). https://doi.org/10.1674/0003-0031-178.2.203
Received: 20 April 2016; Accepted: 1 May 2017; Published: 1 October 2017
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