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Prairie falcons quit nesting in response to spring snowstorm

Posted date: June 15, 2016
Publication Year: 
1991
Authors: Squires, John R.; Anderson, Stanley H.; Oakleaf, Robert.
Publication Series: 
Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Source: Journal of Field Ornithology. 62(2): 191-194.

Abstract

A small population of Prairie Falcons (Falco mexicanus) (mean = 6 pairs/year) nesting in northcentral Wyoming quit nesting in response to a severe spring snowstorm in 1984. Temperatures during the April storm were similar to years when the falcons reproduced successfully, but the monthly snowfall was 89.2 cm as compared to the 30-yr monthly average of 29.92 cm (90% CI = 21.44 -38.40 cm). Analysis of prey abundance suggested that significantly fewer prey-sized birds were present on the study area in 1984 than in 1985, possibly as a result of the storm. The nesting failure may have been in response to reductions in avian prey populations.

Citation

Squires, John R.; Anderson, Stanley H.; Oakleaf, Robert. 1991. Prairie falcons quit nesting in response to spring snowstorm. Journal of Field Ornithology. 62(2): 191-194.