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Birds of Prey and Nesting Territories

Raptors’ nesting territories are based on the food supply

Red-tailed Hawks typically have a nesting territory of about a half-mile to a full square mile, depending on how much food there is. Bald Eagles’ nesting territories range from 2½ square miles to as much as 15 square miles, for the same reason. But the Gyrfalcons in Finland and Scandinavia really need their space!

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Transcript: 

BirdNote®  

Birds of Prey and Nesting Territories

Written by Bob Sundstrom

This is BirdNote.

[Bald Eagle call, http://macaulaylibrary.org/audio/137879, 0.18-.22]

Nesting Bald Eagles like their privacy. But how much space between one massive nest and the next can vary a lot, and it often depends on the food supply.

Bald Eagles nest near water to hunt fish and waterbirds. And their nesting territories range from 2 and ½ square miles to as large as 15 square miles, depending on how much food there is.

[Red-tailed Hawk call, http://macaulaylibrary.org/audio/202280, 0.37-38]

Red-tailed Hawks nest in diverse habitats, from forest edges to canyon cliffs. A pair will typically have a nesting territory of about a half-mile to a full square mile.

[Gyrfalcon calls, https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/138146  1.14-1.18]

Gyrfalcons in Finland and Scandinavia really need their space. And once again, prey plays a crucial role. They feed on pheasant-like birds called ptarmigan. And ptarmigan numbers fluctuate so wildly from year to year that raising young Gyrfalcons is a real challenge. The last thing these birds need is competition from their neighbors. In one research area, their enormous nests were found—on average—just once every one hundred and seventy-five square miles. That’s like one nesting pair in the whole city limits of Chicago.

 [Gyrfalcon calls, https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/138146, 1.14-1.18]

For BirdNote, I’m Michael Stein.

###
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Bald Eagle, LNS# 137879, recorded by G. Vyn. Red-tailed Hawk, LNS# 202280, recorded by J.W. McGowan. Gyrfalcon, LNS# 138146, recorded by B.J. McCaffery.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Sallie Bodie
Editor: Ashley Ahearn
Associate Producer: Ellen Blackstone
Assistant Producer: Mark Bramhill
Narrator: Michael Stein
BirdNote’s theme was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
© 2019 BirdNote   November 2019

nest-10-2019-11-19    nest-10

References: http://peregrinefund.org/subsites/conference-gyr/proceedings/213-Koskimi...
http://www.globalraptors.org/grin/researchers/uploads/372/booms_disserta...

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