Stanley S. Hillman

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Biology



Physical Description

1 online resource (101 p.)


Long-eared owl -- Food, Birds -- Food, Birds -- Oregon




Part I of this study presents a procedure for standardization of pellet analysis methodologies which improves estimation of prey biomass and determines the number of pellets needed to estimate prey diversity indices. The procedure was developed to provide a simple, easily replicated methodology for the study of pellets which also retains maximal data recorded from pellet analysis. A sample size of ten Long-eared Owl pellets was found adequate to calculate diversity indices with no significant loss of accuracy when compared to total pellets recovered from beneath a roosting site. Analysis of the total sample of pellets from a specific roost provided information on intraspecies size selection by Long-eared Owls and also increased the probability of finding remains of rare prey in pellets from the areas studied.

Part II of this study investigates the influences of seasonality and habitat differences on prey selection by Long-eared Owls in north-central Oregon. Differences in habitat where Long-eared Owls foraged were found to significantly influence prey species selection of Thomomys talpoides , Lagurus curtatus, Peromyscus maniculatus, Microtus montanus, and Perognathus parvus. Significant seasonal differences were also observed in the consumption of T. talpoides and M. montanus. Analysis of intraspecific size selection of northern pocket gophers by Long-eared Owls supports the observation that size of prey influences the foraging strategies of Long-eared Owls to a greater degree than does species composition.


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