Title page for ETD etd-11182008-063418
|Type of Document
||Falk, Judith A.
||Landscape level raptor habitat associations in northwest Connecticut
||Master of Science
||Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences
|Stauffer, Dean F.
|Fraser, James D.
|Date of Defense
I measured habitat characteristics at 21 barred owl, 30 northern goshawk. and 17 redshouldered
hawk nest areas, and at 49 random areas within a 780 km2 area in northwest
Connecticut. Measurements were taken at a macro ground level and from 1:12,000 and
1:40,000 black and white and 1:58,000 and 1:126,000 color infrared aerial photography.
Among-species nest area analyses at the ground level indicated that higher beech and red
maple densities were associated with red-shouldered hawk nest areas than with nest areas
of barred owls or northern goshawks. Analyses between species and random areas indicated
that barred owl nest areas had higher sugar maple density and basal area than random areas.
Denser canopy, greater tree density and basal area, a greater percentage of forested land,
and greater hemlock density were associated with nest areas of both northern goshawks and
red-sl1ouldered hawks. Northern goshawk nest areas had higher red maple and conifer densities
and were found farther from human activity and forest openings than random (available)
habitat. Red-shouldered hawk nest areas had higher beech and deciduous tree densities and
basal areas than expected based on available habitat. Six of 21 habitat characteristics
measured from 4 scales of aerial photography were significantly different either among species
nest areas or between species and random areas. Northern goshawks nested in areas
with little open water. Red-shouldered hawks had higher percentages of open water near nest
sites and were significantly closer to water than available habitat. Four variables related to
contiguity of the forest were Significant in the analyses. The greatest number of cover type
patches generally was associated with random areas followed by barred owl then redshouldered
hawk nest areas. Red-shouldered hawks and northern goshawk nest areas were in relatively contiguous tracts of forested land and farthest from forest openings. The highest
percentages of agricultural and non-forested land were found at random areas and barred owl
nest areas, with lowest percentages at red-shouldered hawk and northern goshawk nest
areas. The percentage of open water and swamp were most easily identified and measured
from 1:58,000 color infrared aerial photography. Distance to water was most consistently
measured from 1:58,000 CIR or 1:40,000 B&W aerial photography. The distance to opening
was measured most consistently from the 1:12,000 scale. The 1:40,000 and 1:12,000 scales of
aerial photography provided the most consistent measurements of the percentages of agricultural
and non-forested land.
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