Skip to Main Content
Feeding ecology of sharp-shinned hawks in deciduous and coniferous forests in ColoradoAuthor(s): Suzanne M. Joy; Richard T. Reynolds; Richard L. Knight; Richard W. Hoffman
Source: The Condor. 96: 455-467.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
PDF: View PDF (862.54 KB)
DescriptionFeeding ecology of 11 Sharp-skinned Hawk (Accipiter striates) pairs nesting in aspen (Populus tremuloides), conifer (Abies, Picea spp.), and mixed aspen-conifer habitats in southwest Colorado was investigated during 1988-1989. Small birds (x-bar = 20.9 g, SE = 0.8 g) and mammals (x-bar = 41.1 g, SE = 3.3 g) comprised 91 and 9% of 513 prey identified at nests that fledged at least one young, respectively. Sixty percent of the birds eaten during the hawks' nestling and fledgling stages were nestlings or fledglings. Accordingly, median mass of birds eaten decreased from 17.4 g during incubation to 12.1 g during the nestling stage. Although more birds were consumed than mammals during all nesting stages (birds = 91.1%; mammals = 8.9%), the proportion of birds relative to mammals in diets progressively decreased from incubation through fledging. Taxa of birds in the diet were consumed in proportion to their occurrence in the most abundant of three different habitats surrounding nests, whereas some mammalian taxa were consumed in greater proportion than their relative "availability" in these habitats. This suggested that Sharp-shinned Hawks foraged opportunistically for birds, but may have selectively foraged for mammals. Differences in the habits of mammals (e.g., fossorial vs. terrestrial behavior), and hence their relative availability, may explain the apparent selection for certain species of mammals by Sharp-shinned Hawks.
- You may send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationJoy, Suzanne M.; Reynolds, Richard T.; Knight, Richard L.; Hoffman, Richard W. 1994. Feeding ecology of sharp-shinned hawks in deciduous and coniferous forests in Colorado. The Condor. 96: 455-467.
KeywordsAccipiter striatus, sharp-shinned hawk, diet, food habits, feeding ecology, aspen forest, conifer forest, Colorado
- Notes on breeding sharp-shinned hawks and cooper’s hawks in Barnwell County, South Carolina
- Estimating site occupancy and detection probabilities for cooper's and sharp-shinned hawks in the Southern Sierra Nevada
- Estimation of Species Identification Error: Implications for Raptor Migration Counts and Trend Estimation
XML: View XML