Great Basin Naturalist


Food habits and nest site features of the Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), Prairie Falcon (Falco mexicanus), Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), and Ferruginous Hawk (B. regalis) were studied near Medicine Bow, Wyoming, during 1981 and 1982. Foods consisted primarily of leporids and sciurids. The Wyoming ground squirrel (Spemiophilus richardsonii) dominated the diet of Prairie Falcons, while Golden Eagles preyed on leporids more than did the other raptors. Diet overlap ranged from 59 to 99% between the species. Mean height of Golden Eagle nests was greater than nest height of other species. Most raptor nests (78%) were not visible from other active nests and were in view of roads. Prairie Falcons were the most specialized and Ferruginous Hawks the most versatile raptor species in terms of food habits and use of nest sites.