Track: Biology and Behavior (bats, eagles and other species)
Supplemental Feeding of Golden Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) to Increase Breeding Area Occupancy and Egg Production
Presentation Description: Golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) nesting data collected across Babbitt Ranches, northern Arizona, USA from 2011 to 2017 indicate that breeding area occupancy at nine territories is fairly consistent, whereas egg production and nest success rates are low (ca. 0.321 young fledged/occupied breeding area/year). Environmental stressors that may act singly or in concert to limit reproduction by golden eagles include food limitation before and during the breeding season, weather, and inadequate nest substrate. Other possible stressors include nest disturbance (human or other), contaminants, disease, internal or external parasites, nest elevation, next exposure, and poor adult condition. The data currently available for Babbitt Ranches do not conclusively support or eliminate any of these limiting factors. However, the occurrence of low egg production and success rates at nearly all territories across a wide area supports food limitation as a plausible explanation. Supplemental feeding in the vicinity of eagle breeding areas early in the breeding season prior to the egg laying period would be expected to increase breeding area occupancy, egg production, and breeding success.