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Recoveries and Resightings of Released Rehabilitated Raptors

G. E. Duke, P. T. Redig, W. Jones
Raptor Research
4 (Winter)
Scientific Papers
Online Text


Our raptor rehabilitation program treated 1693 raptors between 1974-1980 and released 648. The purpose of this paper is to describe 38 recoveries or resightings of banded, color-marked or radio-tagged birds. Annual release rates (no. released/no. treated) showed a gradual increase during the period. These rates did not seem to be related to size of the patient but more to the relative severity of the iniury or illness causing its admission. Release rates were lower for strigiforms (26.5%) than for falconiforms (37.2%) and a greater proportion of released strigiforms (8%) were recovered than of released falconiforms (2.4%). However, more falconiforms were recovered within 6 weeks post release (54.5% of releases vs. 21.4% for owls). On the average falconiforms were recovered over 10 times further (316.5 km) from the release site than were strigiforms (30.7 km). Length of post-release survival did not seem to be related to the severity of the original problem requiring rehabilitation. Color-marked Bald Eagles were resighted for up to 2 years after release, as far as 364 km from the release site, and two released birds were observed tending nests. Marked eagles released in wintering areas behaved similarly to other eagles already present in the area.

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