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Great horned owl; Bird banding; Birds--Mortality


Although great horned owls (Bubo virginianus) are often considered permanent residents, data from band returns have shown that movements by this species do occur. In banding activities conducted in central Minnesota from 1967 through 1983, 329 great horned owls were banded and 24 (7.3 percent) recoveries were reported. Twelve of the 24 recoveries (50.0 percent) were made 15 kilometers or more from where the individuals were banded. Five of these recoveries ( 41.7 percent) were to the southeast. Of 23 owls recovered dead, eight (34 .8 percent) were reported only as "found dead," seven (30.4 percent) were found near highways or railroad tracks, and five (21.7 percent) were caught in traps. Difficulties in interpreting movements and causes of mortalities from information provided by band returns, and difficulties in determining whether great horned owl movements are due to juvenile dispersal or to declining prey populations, are discussed.

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