Behavioural reactions of desert bighorn sheep to avian scavengers

Authors


Abstract

I report previously undocumented encounters between avian scavengers and desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni). These encounters are of interest because they occurred only during the nursery season when lamb mortality was high. Desert bighorn sheep responded to the presence of avian scavengers with typical anti-predator behaviours, which may indicate that avian scavengers are potential predators or that desert bighorn sheep are unable to distinguish between avian scavengers and avian predators.

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