802.359.5000 | WILD BIRD REHAB: x212
May 4 | 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
The Rough-legged Hawk Project: 10 Years of Research on an Understudied Raptor
Virtual via Zoom
Thursday, May 4 / 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Free and open to all ages
(A $10 donation is suggested)
Spring migration season – it happens every year. Birds that spent the winter in tropical climes return to add much missed color and sound to our New England landscape.
But not all birds seek warm, sunny places to overwinter. Believe it or not, Vermont is a migration destination for a few hardy species. Rough-legged Hawks winter throughout the US and southern Canada, departing these regions during spring migration to return north to their breeding grounds in the arctic.
Christmas Bird Count and Migration Site data suggest that Rough-legged Hawk species may be declining as well as shifting winter distributions northwards. Interpreting these trends is crucial to help understand the species’ migratory behavior and external factors that may be influencing their migration patterns.
VINS is pleased to host Neil Paprocki, a former Conservation Biologist for HawkWatch International and current PhD candidate at the University of Idaho, for a presentation of his work on Rough-legged Hawks. Neil has spent the past 10 years studying and tracking nearly 200 Rough-legged Hawks to better understand their migratory behavior. Neil will share preliminary results from this multi-year study, with a particular focus on eastern North America including Rough-legged Hawks captured on wintering grounds in Vermont and New York.
The Rough-legged Hawk (Buteo lagopus) breeds throughout arctic and subarctic regions of North America and winters throughout southern Canada and United States, with no spatial overlap between breeding and wintering areas. Christmas Bird Count and Migration Site data suggest the species may be declining as well as shifting winter distributions northwards. Furthermore, winter range shifts influence regional population trends such that careful interpretation of trends is needed for all migratory species. We deployed GPS transmitters on nearly 200 Rough-legged Hawks from 2014 – 2023 to better understand the species migratory behavior. We trapped and deployed transmitters on hawks on the wintering grounds, breeding grounds, and during migration throughout much of North America, including Vermont. Movement data has provided invaluable information on Rough-legged Hawk migration ecology, temporal and spatial mortality patterns, and factors influencing how far and how consistently individuals migrate. We will present preliminary results from our movement ecology study, with a particular focus on eastern North America including Rough-legged Hawks captured on wintering grounds in Vermont and New York.
Neil Paprocki received his M.Sc. in Raptor Biology from Boise State University in 2013 where he studied how climate and habitat influence long-term trends and distributions of wintering raptors in North America. From 2014–2018, Neil served as the Conservation Biologist for HawkWatch International, a raptor research non-profit organization. Neil is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Idaho studying differential migration in Rough-legged Hawks and other avian species.
For more information, contact us at 802.359.5000 or email@example.com.