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Influence of Vehicular Traffic on Time Budgets of Nesting Burrowing Owls

David L. Plumpton and R. Scott Lutz
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 57, No. 3 (Jul., 1993), pp. 612-616
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
DOI: 10.2307/3809291
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3809291
Page Count: 5
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Influence of Vehicular Traffic on Time Budgets of Nesting Burrowing Owls
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Abstract

Adult burrowing owls (Speotyto cunicularia) commonly nest near roads on the Rocky Mountain Arsenal (RMA), Colorado, and had the potential to be disturbed during environmental clean-up operations. Thus, we characterized time-budgets of adults during 1990-91 to determine potential impacts of environmental cleanup traffic on their nesting behavior. Males and females differed in time spent resting (P ≤ 0.01), alert (P = 0.002), and out-of-sight (P = 0.004) in the pre-hatch season. From pre- to post-hatch seasons, male alert behavior decreased, while time spent out-of-sight increased (P = 0.0001). Female alert behavior increased, while out-of-sight behaviors decreased (P = 0.0001). Vehicular disturbance observed in this study (0-16 vehicles/15 min) was only weakly correlated to two of 8 behaviors (locomotion and alert). Vehicular traffic, our index of cleanup disturbance, therefore had little impact on nesting burrowing owl behavior, and it had no impact on productivity even though nesting locations placed them in close proximity.

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