Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (685 KB)

Title: Large-scale forest composition influences northern goshawk nesting in Wisconsin

Author: Donner, Deahn M.; Anderson, Dean; Eklund, Daniel; St.Pierre, Matthew.;

Date: 2013

Source: Journal of Wildlife Management 77(3): 495-504.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: The northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis atricapillus) is a woodland raptor that uses a variety of forest types for nesting across its breeding range, but strongly depends on older forests with large trees and open understories. Goshawks may select nesting locations by maximizing the convergence of nesting and foraging habitats. Insights into goshawk responses to heterogeneous landscapes can be gained by examining the location of active nest sites through time and at multiple spatial scales. We examined the landscape-scale forest conditions that influenced the probability of active goshawk nests in the United States Forest Service, Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest (CNNF) in northern Wisconsin. We used goshawk nest survey and monitoring data from 1997 to 2006 to determine the probability of an active nest site over time in relation to forest composition and road density at 3 scales (200-m, 500-m, and 1,000-m radii). Goshawk nests were located primarily in upland hardwood (64%), conifer (23%), and older aspen-birch (≥26 yrs old; 11%) habitat cover types. We used Bayesian temporal autoregressive models of nest locations across multiple spatial scales to analyze these data. The probability of active goshawk nest occurrence increased with increasing conifer cover (1,000 m) and decreased with increasing cover of older aspen-birch and density of primary roads (500 m). In addition, lesser proportions of older aspen-birch at intermediate scales around goshawk nests had a stronger effect on the probability of a nest being active than conifer and primary roads. Thus, the ratio of conifer cover (within 1,000 m) to older aspen-birch cover (within 500 m) in landscapes surrounding nest sites was the key driver in predicting the probability of an active nest site. This finding can be used by forest managers to help sustain the active status of a goshawk nesting area through time (i.e., annually), and foster goshawk nesting activity in areas where active nesting is not currently occurring.

Keywords: Accipiter gentilis atricapillus, Bayesian inference, Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, nesting habitat, northern goshawk, spatial scales, Wisconsin

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • This publication may be available in hard copy. Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
  • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact Sharon Hobrla, if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.



Donner, Deahn M.; Anderson, Dean; Eklund, Daniel; St.Pierre, Matthew. 2013. Large-scale forest composition influences northern goshawk nesting in Wisconsin. Journal of Wildlife Management 77(3): 495-504.


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.