Date of Award

Winter 2012

Project Type


Program or Major

Natural Resources and the Environment: Wildlife and Conservation Biology

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Kimberly Babbitt


I compared characteristics of northern goshawk ( Accipiter gentilis) breeding areas (n = 44) to available habitat (n=100 random sites) across New Hampshire at four spatial scales (162, 405, 809 and 1619 ha). Differences in forest composition between breeding areas and available habitat were present (Hotelling-Lawley p = 0.009) with least squares analysis revealing hay/pasture (p < 0.001) and beech/oak (p = 0.004) present less than expected and birch/aspen (p = 0.039) and white pine (p = 0.008) present more than expected, within breeding areas. Analyses also showed that as distance from the core of the breeding area (centered on the nest tree) increased differences between breeding areas and available habitat decreased. Results suggest that, in New Hampshire, goshawks select breeding areas based on nest stand composition and landscape-scale patterns.