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Post-Fledging Dispersal of Burrowing Owls in Southwestern Idaho: Characterization of Movements and Use of Satellite Burrows
R. Andrew King and James R. Belthoff
Vol. 103, No. 1 (Feb., 2001), pp. 118-126
Published by: American Ornithological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1369684
Page Count: 9
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Using radiotelemetry, we monitored dispersing juvenile Western Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) within a migratory population in southwestern Idaho during 1994 and 1995. Owls remained within natal areas for an average (± SE) of 58 ± 3.4 days post-hatching before moving permanently beyond 300 m, which was our operational cutoff for dispersal from the natal area. On average, owls dispersed on 27 July (range: 15 July to 22 August), which was approximately 4 weeks after fledging. After initiating dispersal, juveniles continued moving farther away from their natal burrows and, by 61-65 days post-hatching, they had moved 0.6 ± 0.2 km. Each juvenile used 5.1 ± 1.2 satellite burrows, and individual satellite burrows were used for up to 14 days. The average date on which we last sighted radio-tagged juveniles was 13 August, and all but one juvenile departed the study area by early September. Our study illustrates the importance of satellite burrows to dispersing Burrowing Owls.
The Condor © 2001 Cooper Ornithological Society