Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Eye of the hawk: Visual system properties of three species of diurnal raptors with different foraging ecologies
by O'Rourke, Colleen, M.S., California State University, Long Beach, 2009, 53; 1472348
Abstract (Summary)

How birds interact with their environment depends heavily on the visual information they gather. Visual fields describe the area around a bird's head that can gather visual information and have been studied in a wide variety of bird species to date, but only a single species of diurnal raptor. The goal of this study was to compare components of the visual system among 3 raptor species with different foraging ecologies: Red-tailed Hawks Buteo jamaicensis, Cooper's Hawks Accipiter cooperi, and American Kestrels Falco sparverius. Red-tailed Hawks had the narrowest binocular fields, but their long-bout head movements are indicative of their sit-and-wait foraging strategy in open areas. Cooper's Hawks had wide binocular fields and rapid head movement rates, which may allow them to scan for prey in closed environments. The large binocular areas and high rates of translational head movements of American Kestrels may be the result of a tradeoff between foraging and anti-predator influences.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Lowe, Christopher
School: California State University, Long Beach
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 48/02M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Ecology, Organismal biology
Keywords: Accipiter cooperi, Buteo jamaicensis, Falco sparverius
Publication Number: 1472348
ISBN: 978-1-109-47262-2
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