Student with adult red-tailed hawk.
Morphology and Condition Indices of Raptors in Central Nebraska
Summary: Study is directed at evaluating the change in condition of diurnal birds of prey while wintering in central Nebraska.
Status: Study is currently in the second year of data collection. While the initial hypothesis was that birds would progressively loose body stores of energy (body condition would decrease), this appears to not be the case with most birds displaying very high condition indices.
Opportunities for Students: Opportunities are available for collection of data in the third year of the study. Students will gain experience in taking morphological measurement in a field based study. The safe handling of birds of prey will be emphasized.
Additional Information: Students will be expected to share data with other students. Because what birds will be trapped can be difficult to control, we trap what we can an share the data.
The mobile morphology lab (joke, me and my sons with the anchient 1993 Explorer).
Measuring the length of the culmen (beak).
Measuring the length of the tail.
Measuring the depth of the tarsus.
Measuring a segment of the wing length (wing chord).
Student about to release an American kestrel (wore gloves as they tend to bite).