Great Basin Naturalist


Winter populations of raptors and scavengers were surveyed along 175 km of rural roads in Moffat County, northwestern Colorado. The survey began in 1988 and is currently continuing. Over the 7 yr of the survey reported here, we found Golden Eagles in high abundance ( = 5.8 km/eagle) compared to most studies in similar habitat. Bald Eagles were less abundant, but increasing compared to 20 yr earlier. American Rough-legged Hawks were in low abundance, probably due to the predominance of sagebrush habitat along the route. Northern Ravens were seen in low numbers in 4 yr. American Crows were seen in 2 yr. Black-billed Magpies were nearly as abundant ( = 6.5 km/magpie) as Golden Eagles and often scavenged with them. Magpie and Golden Eagle numbers were significantly correlated over the years of study. We conclude that northwestern Colorado is a significant overwintering area for Golden Eagles.