Illuminating the nocturnal habits of owls with emerging tagging technologies

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Authors:

Connor M Wood, Ceeanna Zulla, Sheila Whitmore, Dana Reid, H Anu Kramer, John J Keane, Sarah C Sawyer, Kevin N Roberts, Brian P Dotters, Holger Klinck, William Berigan, RJ Gutiérrez, M Zachariah Peery

Publish Date: March 2021

Description:

Owls play important cultural, ecological, and indicator roles throughout the world. Yet owls’ cryptic behavior has led to uncertainties about their basic ecology, including foraging, communication, and functional roles within the community, and potentially hindered the implementation of effective conservation measures. Here we demonstrate the potential for next‐generation GPS tags capable of recording high‐precision, minute‐by‐minute locations paired with other technologies to resolve some of these uncertainties. We combined high‐precision GPS tagging data with infrared (IR) video recorded by arboreally‐mounted cameras at 5 spotted owl (Strix occidentalis) nest sites in the Sierra Nevada, USA to provide a uniquely detailed examination of owl foraging patterns. Our approach allowed us to identify the precise time and location of 54 predation events and prey identity. We also used high‐precision GPS tags with …

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Illuminating the nocturnal habits of owls with emerging tagging technologies

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