Variation in Prey Delivered to Common Black-Hawk (Buteogallus anthracinus) Nests in Arizona Drainage Basins

Kenneth E. Etzel, Tad C. Theimer, Matthew J. Johnson, Jennifer A. Holmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Understanding how raptor diets vary across local and regional scales can be important when human actions have the potential to alter prey abundances. We combined data on prey delivered to 16 Common Black-Hawk (Buteogallus anthracinus) nests in three tributaries of the Verde River, Arizona, in 2008 and 2009 with similar data reported previously (1994) for three other Arizona drainage basins to better understand variation in diet composition within and across drainage basins. Within the three drainage basins studied in 2008 and 2009, nests clustered into two groups: those along Fossil Creek, where fish and amphibians were common, and those in Wet Beaver and Oak Creek drainage basins, where reptiles and nonnative crayfish were more abundant. When data from all six drainage basins were combined, drainage basins again clustered into two groups, with prey deliveries in one cluster dominated by fish and amphibians and in the other cluster by reptiles. These results confirm the opportunistic nature of prey use by Common Black-Hawks and highlight the variation in diet that can occur both within and among drainage basins. Management targeting the eradication of nonnative crayfish or the reintroduction of native amphibians and fish could alter prey availability for this raptor species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-60
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Raptor Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • Buteogallus anthracinus
  • Common Black-Hawk
  • Crayfish
  • Diet
  • Exotic
  • Orconectes
  • Prey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


Dive into the research topics of 'Variation in Prey Delivered to Common Black-Hawk (Buteogallus anthracinus) Nests in Arizona Drainage Basins'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this