Project Title

Assessing the Influence of Telecommunication Towers on Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) Nesting Productivity and Behaviors in Western Kentucky

Project Abstract

Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) nests located on telecommunication towers (TCTs) are approximately 3 – 8 times higher than natural or constructed nests. Consequently, nestlings reared on TCTs may be exposed to harsher weather conditions and ultimately have lower survival rates. Additionally, flights to the height of TCTs by adults attempting to supply sufficient amounts of fish to their young may be more energy intensive, which could influence foraging or nest guarding behaviors. The objective of my study is to evaluate the influence of TCTs on Osprey nest success and productivity and adult foraging and guarding behaviors. I hypothesize that TCTs will negatively influence nest success and productivity and adult foraging and nest guarding behaviors. I will passively observe 30 Osprey nests [telecommunication towers (n=10), platforms/man-made structures (n=10), natural substrates (n=10)] from vehicle, boat, or on foot. To assess differences in adult behaviors and nest success and productivity, I will monitor each nest for adult foraging and guarding behaviors and fledging throughout the 2019 breeding season. These results will aid Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife and other agencies with monitoring efforts and in determining the best management practices (i.e. nest removal or nesting deterrents) for Ospreys nesting on TCTs.

Conference

N/A

Funding Type

Research Grant

Academic College

Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology

Area/Major/Minor

Biology

Degree

Bachelor of Science

Graduation Expected

05/2021

Classification

Sophomore

Name

Andrea K Darracq, PhD

Academic College

Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology

Beginning date of project

4-2019

End date of project

9-2019

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