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Nest Sites and Nesting Habitat of the Northern Spotted Owl in Northwestern California

William S. LaHaye and R. J. Gutiérrez
The Condor
Vol. 101, No. 2 (May, 1999), pp. 324-330
DOI: 10.2307/1369995
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1369995
Page Count: 7
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Nest Sites and Nesting Habitat of the Northern Spotted Owl in Northwestern California
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Abstract

We located 69 Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) nests in northwestern California. Spotted Owls nested in eight different tree species of which 83% were located in Douglas-firs (Pseudotsuga menziesii). Sixty percent of the nests were located in broken-top trees, whereas cavity and platform nests each accounted for 20%. Minimum nest tree ages averaged 288 years (range 57-688) with 42% of the trees having minimum ages of > 300 years. Owls nested in forests that were structurally different than forests available to them. These stands were characterized by large (> 90 cm dbh) conifers, a hardwood understory, and a variety of tree sizes. Nest sites appeared to be located in pockets of even older forest containing disfigured trees of advanced age which provided suitable nesting structures.

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