Bald eagle winter roost characteristics in Lava Beds National Monument, California

Northwest Science


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This study provided a survey of bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) winter roost habitat (in 4 km2 of potential roost areas) in southern Lava Beds National Monument, California. A systematic-clustered sampling design (n=381 plots) was used to compare forest stand characteristics in two primary roost areas (Caldwell Butte and Eagle Nest Butte) and two potential roost areas (Hidden Valley and Island Butte). A 100 percent inventory of roost trees in Caldwell Butte (n=103 trees) and Eagle Nest Butte (n=44 trees) showed they were spatially clumped and restricted to 12.7 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively, of the study areas. Roost trees, primarily ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), averaged 81.1 ± 1.3 cm dbh (mean ± 1 S.E.) compared to non-roost trees (>35 cm dbh) that averaged 52.2 ± 1.0 cm dbh. Roost trees were generally taller and more open-structured than non-roost trees. All four study sites had adequate numbers of mid-sized trees (10 to 50 cm dbh) to replace the current stock of older, larger roost trees. However, seedling and small trees (<10 cm dbh) in the roost areas were spatially clumped and few, suggesting that maintaining a continuous population of roost trees may be a problem in the distant future. Long-term studies of changing winter roost habitat and eagle use are essential to protect the bald eagle in the northwestern US.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Bald eagle winter roost characteristics in Lava Beds National Monument, California
Series title Northwest Science
Volume 67
Issue 1
Year Published 1993
Language English
Publisher Northwest Scientific Association
Publisher location Cheney, WA
Description 11 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Northwest Science
First page 44
Last page 54
Country United States
State California
Other Geospatial Lava Beds National Monument