Relative abundance and habitat characteristics of woodland hawks in east-central Indiana

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Basey, Gary L.
Morrell, Tom
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Thesis (M.S.)
Department of Biology
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This study investigates the status and habitat characteristics of the Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperi), the Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus), the Broadwinged Hawk (Buteo platvpterus), and the Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo 'amaicensis) in East-central Indiana to provide information useful for the conservation of these species. Surveys of hawks were conducted using taped Great-horned Owl broadcasts at 350 points between April and July, 1995 and 1996. The relative abundance was estimated using the proportion of area occupied technique. Estimates of the proportion of area occupied by each species ranged from 4% to 34%. Red-tailed Hawks were estimated to occupy 34% of the area surveyed. Estimates of the area occupied by Cooper's Hawks was 8% and by Red-shouldered Hawks was 4%. Broad-winged Hawks only occupied two points, therefore no estimate of the area occupied was determined. Macro-habitat characteristics were quantified for each species within a 0.8-km radius of the center of each occupied area and were compared with randomly selected unoccupied areas. Large forested areas with less human development were most preferred by Red-shouldered and Broad-winged Hawks. Cooper's hawks and Red-tailed hawks were found in a wide variety of habitat types.