Diet composition and reproductive success of Mexican Spotted Owls

Mark E. Seamans, Ralph J Gutierrez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We identified 3793 prey remains from 44 and 41 Mexican Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis lucida) territories in Arizona and New Mexico, respectively, from 1991-95. We found no relationship between Mexican Spotted Owl reproductive success and the proportion of dietary biomass comprised of white-footed mice (Peromyscus spp.) or woodrats (Neotoma spp.). This was contrary to previously observed diet patterns in Northern (S. o. caurina) and California Spotted Owls (S. o. occidentalis) showing that mammals can comprise 88.2% of the dietary biomass in Arizona and 94.0% in New Mexico. We found that the most important prey based on relative biomass for Mexican Spotted Owls were woodrats (47.8%) and white-footed mice (17.0%). Gophers (Thomomys bottae) and birds occurred more frequently in owl diets in Arizona, while rabbits (Sylvilagus spp.), insects, and woodrats occurred more frequently in diets of New Mexico owls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-148
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Raptor Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 1999


  • Diet
  • Mexican Spotted Owl
  • Neotoma spp.
  • Peromyscus spp.
  • Reproductive success
  • Strix occidentalis lucida


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