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.
|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|
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