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    We investigated lifetime reproductive success (LRS) of 22 male and 46 female adult Flammulated Owls (Otus flammeolus) in Colorado from 1981-2003. Sexual differences in LRS were at least partially attributable to incomplete breeding histories of females, due to females having a higher estimated emigration rate from the study area than males. The mean number of lifetime breeding attempts for males was 3.4 6 0.6 (SE; range 5 1-12), and for females it was 1.9 6 0.3 (range 5 1-8). Adjusted for emigration beyond the study area, the estimated mean number of lifetime breeding attempts was 3.6 for males and 2.5 for females. The mean number of lifetime successful breeding attempts (fledging at least one owlet) was similar to lifetime breeding attempts for each sex, reflecting the fact that 84% (85 of 101) of all breeding attempts were successful. Breeding lifespan was correlated with lifetime reproduction for both sexes. Males tended nests that produced 6.9 6 1.2 fledglings over 4.3 6 0.8 yr, while females produced 4.0 6 0.6 fledglings over 2.0 6 0.3 yr; adjusted for emigration beyond the study area, males tended nests that produced 7.2 fledglings over 4.5 yr, while females produced 5.2 fledglings over 2.6 yr. Relatively few individuals of each sex produced most of the offspring, as 18% of females and 24% of males produced 50% of total owlets. Our finding that relatively few adults accounted for most offspring appears to be associated with habitat quality in territories. Flammulated Owls tend to have a life-history strategy similar to larger raptors by having a relatively low annual reproductive rate and a relatively long lifespan.

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    Linkhart, Brian D.; Reynolds, Richard T. 2006. Lifetime reproduction of flammulated owls in Colorado. Journal of Raptor Research. 40(1): 29-37.


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    flammulated owl, Otus flammeolus, lifetime reproductive success, LRS, reproductive strategy

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