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Nest Habitat Selection of Western Screech-Owls (Megascops kennicottii macfarlanei) at Multiple Spatial Scales in Southeast British Columbia

Doris Hausleitner, Jakob Dulisse, Irene Manley, Amy Waterhouse


The interior Western Screech-Owl (Megascops kennicottii macfarlanei) has been assessed as a species at risk. Regionally, survival rates are low, particularly during nesting. This study uses forward stepwise logistic regression to assess habitat selection at the tree, patch (150m2), and stand scales for twelve nests (the largest sample in any one region). At the patch scale, nest sites had more coniferous cover (33% versus 16%) than random. At the stand level, owls selected medium-age forests within an agricultural landscape, highlighting the need to conserve these habitats. While black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa) and trembling aspen (P. tremuloides) are important nest tree species, riparian forests with coniferous cover, particularly western redcedar (Thuja plicata), may be more important for nesting in regional populations than previously realized.


Western Screech-Owl; Megascops kennicottii macfarlanei; radio telemetry; nest; habitat selection; spatial scale; coniferous; British Columbia

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