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RAPTOR ECOLOGY OF THE SHRUB-STEPPE
The Raptor Ecology of the Shrub-Steppe project focused for several years on identifying and tracking the native ferruginous hawk. Through this project, the migration routes of these birds were determined for the first time.
Raptor Ecology of the Shrub-Steppe is working to save:
Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis)
Often mistaken for an eagle due to its size, proportions and behavior. The female is larger than the male, but there is some overlap between small females and large males in size. Length ranges from 20 to 26 inches (51 to 66 cm), wingspan from 48 to 60 inches (120 to 150 cm), and weight from 2.2 to 4.5 pounds (1,000 to 2,000 g). Adults have long broad wings and a broad gray, rusty or white tail. The legs are feathered to the talons, like the Rough-legged Hawk.
Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos)
Golden eagles are dark brown, with lighter golden-brown plumage on their heads and necks. The wingspan averages over 2 m (7 ft) and up to 1 m (3 ft) in body length. They are extremely swift, and can dive upon their quarry at speeds of more than 150 miles (241 kilometers) per hour. Golden eagle pairs maintain territories that may be as large as 60 square miles (155 square kilometers). They are monogamous and may remain with their mate for several years or possibly for life nesting in high places including cliffs, trees, or telephone poles. They build huge nests to which they may return for several breeding years. Females lay from one to four eggs, and both parents incubate them for 40 to 45 days. Typically, one or two young survive to fledge in about three months.
Shrub-steppe is a type of low rainfall natural grassland. Shrub-steppes are distinguishable from deserts, which are too dry to support a noticeable cover of perennial grasses or other shrubs, while the shrub-steppe has sufficient moisture levels to support a cover of perennial grasses and/or shrubs. Rainfall is less than 180 mm or 7" per year.
The Douglas Creek area in Eastern Washington is prime shrub-steppe habitat that support ferruginous and other species of hawk.
Critical threats to wildlife:
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NORTHWEST NATIVE SPECIES RECOVERY PROJECTS
Woodland Park Zoo’s expertise in captive rearing, captive breeding and research plays an essential role within the Pacific Northwest conservation community. WPZ collaborates with other zoos and aquariums on these and other projects as a member of the Northwest Zoo and Aquarium Alliance.
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