Home range and habitat use of red-tailed hawks in southwestern Georgia
Sexton, Ashley Rae
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Red-tailed Hawks (Buteo jamaicensis), as one of the most common and widespread North American raptors, utilize a wide prey base within diverse habitats. Little research has focused on Red-tailed Hawk ecology in the southeastern portion of its range. I examined home-range size and habitat use of Red-tailed Hawks in the southeastern United States, where unique environmental conditions of the longleaf pine-wiregrass (Pinus palustris-Aristida stricta) ecosystem and northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) management practices presumably influence hawk ecology. I used radio telemetry to document home range sizes, and found that home ranges were largest in summer and became smaller through the year until spring. Hawks selected agricultural food plots within the study area, but did not select habitats within their home ranges. Areas of supplemental feeding for northern bobwhite attracted Red-tailed Hawks.