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As urbanization increases, nesting habitat for avian predators will likely become limited and may cause them to be unsuccessful in exploiting urban areas. Red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) are common synanthropic, top-order predators that appear to thrive in urban environments. The Loyola Marymount University campus presents optimal nesting habitat due to tall trees and built other anthropogenic structures. Anecdotal reports indicate that a single breeding group has nested on the LMU campus for the past eight breeding seasons (years). Remote video monitoring of the nest began in 2015, and indicates continual usage of the area for several purposes including use of these areas for hunting and territorial defense. In addition, observations of raptor soaring behavior were taken throughout the 2016 fall season at the LMU bluff. Several behaviors observed included reproductive behavior, soaring on the bluff, migratory patterns and interspecific and intraspecific interactions. This study suggests further investigation in usage of updrafts in different species of raptors and can contribute to landscape planning and how urbanization affects flight, avian behavior, migratory patterns, courtship behavior, and nest site preference.

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Sociobiology of Loyola Marymount University's Red-Tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) Reproductive Group