Project Specs

We will be comparing the following characteristics of the hawks’ lives to urban density level:

Nest-site Selection: nest tree species, the tree diameter at breast height, nest height, nest diameter, nest-trunk difference, distance to nearest intraspecific nest, and dominant land cover type within a 400-m² area of the nest.

Breeding Ecology: feeding roles, prey refusals, prey items, number of eggs laid, incubation days, hatch rate, nest failure rate, and fledgling rate.

Human Perceptions of Raptors: hawks share the city with humans, are people affected by or care about that?

Some nests will have cameras nearby that will help record the prey type, identify the date that nestlings fledge or go missing, and various other data. These cameras will capture incremental photos during the first few hours of daylight.

Urban Density: We will be using various development and demographic data from the Washoe County Assessor’s Office to create an urban density map of the city. The black and white images below are urban density maps containing individual representations (such as amount of built land or how many people live in an area) of urbanization before we combine them to form a main index of urbanness. The red circle represents the 670-m radius around a nest location that we will use to define the urbanization level. Here, the radius is laid atop a parcel map.


Note: no birds will be handled during data collection and the master nest list will not be publicized.