Effects of Scale on Predictive Power of Two Bald Eagle Habitat Models

We examined the role scale plays in determining the predictive power of bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) habitat models. We used a bald eagle roost habitat database that included 35 roost sites and 123 random sites located and characterized on the Chesapeake Bay from 1985-1988. A micro-habitat model, based on 6 micro-scale variables correctly classified 80% of the roost sites. A macro-habitat model, based on 10 macro-scale variables, correctly classified only 63% of the roost sites. A mixed model, incorporating the significant micro- and macro-scale variables, correctly classified 89% of the roost sites. Our results suggest there is a tradeoff between model performance (predictive power), model development costs, and model application.

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