Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Todd Katzner; Tricia A. Miller; Jane Rodrigue; Steven Shaffer
    Date: 2015
    Source: The Wilson Journal of Ornithology. 127(1): 102-108.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Northern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (574.77 KB)

    Description

    Predation is dangerous, not only for the prey but sometimes also for the predator. Because these dangers to predators are not well understood, we document evidence of predation or scavenging by a Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) on a North American porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) in Pennsylvania, USA, with potentially lethal consequences to the eagle. We also review published literature on incidence of porcupine quills causing injury or death to birds. At least nine species have been documented as having contact with porcupine quills. A minimum of 39% of these interactions resulted in death to the bird, demonstrating the risk birds face when interacting with porcupines. Predation of porcupines should be selected against and irregular, yet it apparently persists and is likely more common than currently recognized.

    Publication Notes

    • Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
    • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
    • During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
    • Please contact Sharon Hobrla, shobrla@fs.fed.us if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • 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.

    Citation

    Katzner, Todd; Miller, Tricia A.; Rodrigue, Jane; Shaffer, Steven. 2015. A most dangerous game: death and injury to birds from porcupine quills. The Wilson Journal of Ornithology. 127(1): 102-108.

    Keywords

    Aquila chrysaetos, birds, Golden Eagle, porcupine, predation.

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/47908