If You Build It, They Will Come: Nest Site Selection of Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) in West-central Idaho
Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) are fish-eating, top predators of aquatic ecosystems that serve as useful sentinel species for monitoring environmental contaminants and ecosystem health. Ospreys further appear highly adaptable to human-dominated landscapes and readily nest on artificial structures that occur within an array of land use and land cover (LULC) types and human settlement regimes. In Long Valley Idaho, the abundance of breeding Ospreys has declined slightly since the late 1970’s while the distribution of nests and nest substrate use has changed dramatically. To evaluate if changes in nest structure availability and use, coupled with increasing anthropogenic landscape conversion, could be changing osprey nest site selection, we evaluated relationships among nest site characteristics. We used multivariate generalized linear models with model selection procedures to evaluate the relative importance of LULC composition and nest site characteristics associated with nest occupancy.