ABSTRACT

Due to the low detectability of Northern Saw-whet Owls (Aegolius acadicus; hereafter, NSWO) throughout their annual cycle, standardized monitoring during migration allows for population assessments over time. We assessed age-class population trends in NSWO throughout eastern North America using banding data from 7 sites over a 25 year period. Using a mixed linear model, we did not detect any significant trends over time for the total owl count, adult owl count, and juvenile owl count from 1992 to 2017. During the period when all 7 sites were active from 2001 to 2017, trend estimates remained nonsignificant despite showing negative slopes. We confirmed this nonsignificant, negative trend through a similar mixed linear model of NSWO data from Christmas Bird Counts. Our results suggest that NSWO populations across eastern North America have been relatively stable since 1992 throughout their migration and winter ranges and demonstrate the value of standardized banding data for monitoring the regional population status of NSWO.

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