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Diet and trophic characteristics of great horned owls in southwestern Idaho

Journal of Field Ornithology

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Abstract

We studied the diet of Great Horned Owls (Bubo virginianus) in the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area in southwestern Idaho for 14 breeding seasons. The diet included 89.2% mammals by number and 91.2% by mass. Kangaroo rats (Dipodomys spp.) were the most common prey overall, but montane voles (Microtus montanus), Peromyscus spp., Great Basin pocket mice (Perognathus parvus) and Townsend's pocket gophers (Thomomys towsendii) were most common at some collection sites. Estimated mean mass of prey was 44.5 g (range 20.5-82.6 g at individual nests), and food-niche breadth (dietary diversity estimated by $1/\Sigma p_{{\rm i}}{}^{2}$) was 7.32 (range 1.55-6.85 at individual nests). Lower mean overlap in diet occurred between nests in the same year than between years at the same nest. Species of prey taken were significantly correlated with the general habitat types in which the nest was located. Diets of owls in areas of intensive agriculture overlapped little (42%) with those in rangeland habitats.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Diet and trophic characteristics of great horned owls in southwestern Idaho
Series title:
Journal of Field Ornithology
Volume
67
Issue:
4
Year Published:
1996
Language:
English
Contributing office(s):
Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center
Description:
p. 499-506
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Journal of Field Ornithology
First page:
499
Last page:
506
Number of Pages:
8