Red-Tailed Hawk Migrations

The Red-tailed Hawk is a fairly common raptor throughout North America yet we know surprisingly little on its migratory behavior.  Red-tailed Hawk migration, like migration in other animals, presents a unique and potentially stressful endeavor that may result in negative impacts to the birds on their breeding grounds in Jackson Hole.  In addition, the locations the birds’ choose to winter may also present challenges such as habitat loss or degradation and dangers such as shooting or poisoning.  Identifying Red-tailed Hawk migratory patterns and wintering areas will allow us to assess if and how stresses away from the breeding grounds may be influencing patterns in reproductive performance here in Jackson Hole.

In 1999, we began capturing and outfitting Red-tailed Hawks with satellite transmitters which allowed us to track the birds for up to 2 years.  In 2014, we are analyzing these data to assess migration routes, length of migration, duration of migration, weather influences on migration, and make an environmental assessment of wintering areas to better understand the stresses associated with migration.


Personnel

Project Director: 
  Derek Craighead

Project Biologist: 
  Ross Crandall