Interactions of raptors and Lesser Prairie-Chickens at leks in the Texas Southern High Plains

Wilson Journal of Ornithology
By: , and 

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Abstract

We examined behavioral interactions of raptors, Chihuahuan Ravens (Corvus cryptoleucus), and Lesser Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) at leks in the Texas Southern High Plains. Northern Harriers (Circus cyaneus) and Swainson's Hawks (Buteo swainsoni) were the most common raptors observed at leks. Only 15 of 61 (25%) raptor encounters at leks (0.09/hr) resulted in a capture attempt (0.02/hr). Mean (± SD) time for Lesser Prairie-Chickens to return to lekking behavior following a raptor encounter was 4.2 ± 5.5 min suggesting the disturbance had little influence on lekking behaviors. Lesser Prairie-Chickens engaged in different escape behaviors depending on raptor species and, generally, did not respond to ravens suggesting they are able to assess different predation risks. The raptors in our study area posed little predation risk to lekking prairie-chickens. Behavioral disturbance at leks appears minimal due to the lack of successful predation events, low raptor encounter rates, and short time to return to lekking behavior.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Interactions of raptors and Lesser Prairie-Chickens at leks in the Texas Southern High Plains
Series title Wilson Journal of Ornithology
DOI 10.1676/10-129.1
Volume 123
Issue 2
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher The Wilson Ornithological Society
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Atlanta
Description 7 p.
First page 332
Last page 338
Country United States
State Texas