INSIGHTS INTO THE NEST SITE CHARACTERISTICS OF PUEO (HAWAIIAN SHORT-EARED OWL; ASIO FLAMMEUS SANDWICHENSIS) ON O'AHU
|Olivia Wang; University of Hawaii, Manoa; firstname.lastname@example.org; Chad J Wilhite, Marie-Sophie Garcia-Heras, Wade H Naguwa, Kicah P H Acoba, Julen Torrens Baile, Kaleiheana-a-Pohaku Stormcrow, Melissa R Price|
Short-eared Owls (Asio flammeus) are an appropriate study species for understanding intraspecific variations in life-history traits due to their global distribution across continental and island systems at a variety of latitudes. However, more regional studies outside of North America and Europe are necessary to draw comparisons. Here, we investigated the nest-site characteristics of Hawaiian Short-eared Owls (A. f. sandwichensis), or pueo. We searched for nests during the 2020 and 2021 breeding seasons and collected nest-site characteristics, including visual obstruction readings (VOR), maximum vegetation height, and percent cover at nest sites and four random points within 100 meters of the nest. Nine nests were found in managed buffelgrass (Cenchrus ciliaris)–dominated grassland, and one nest in a pickleweed (Batis maritima) dominated wetland. Using a logistic regression model, we found that mean high VOR was the most important predictor of use and is positively correlated with the relative probability of use. Our initial results suggests that greater vegetation height and densities are important habitat characteristics for pueo occupancy and nesting. This study is an important step in informing best management practices to maximize pueo occupancy and nesting success.