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Rough-Legged Buzzards Use Vole Scent Marks to Assess Hunting Areas

Minna Koivula and Jussi Viitala
Journal of Avian Biology
Vol. 30, No. 3 (Sep., 1999), pp. 329-332
Published by: Wiley on behalf of Nordic Society Oikos
DOI: 10.2307/3677362
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3677362
Page Count: 4
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Rough-Legged Buzzards Use Vole Scent Marks to Assess Hunting Areas
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Abstract

Voles scent mark their territories with urine and faeces that are visible in ultraviolet (UV) light. Rough-legged Buzzards Buteo lagopus feed mainly on voles. We performed a field experiment in northern Finland to test whether buzzards are attracted to UV-visible vole scent marks. The buzzards hunted more often on plots with vole scent marks than on control plots. Our results indicate that Rough-legged Buzzards may be able to use vole scent marks as a cue when searching for profitable hunting and breeding areas.

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