Monthly Archives: May 2016

Owl Banding, May 5/6

Two Northern Saw-whet Owls were banded last night.   Both owls were female.   One was a second year bird and one was a third year bird.

We stayed open a little later than usual this morning to see if we could catch any Sharp-shinned Hawks.  We were successful, and banded one second year, female sharpie.

Other recent bird sightings around the banding site include Osprey, American Kestrel, Chipping Sparrow, Spotted Sandpiper, and Eastern Whip-poor-will.

We should be able to band for most of the night tonight before a storm rolls in.


Banded Sharp-shinned Hawk.


Northern Saw-whet Owl.

Waterbird Count, April 29 – May 2

It’s been business as usual for waterbirds for the past few days. There hasn’t been much of a discernible decrease in activity for most species. The main thing I’ve noticed is fewer Common Goldeneye, non-Mallard dabbling duck species, and Canada Geese. It seems like Common Loons may have passed their peak, but I’m still getting 10 or so every day. It’s looking pretty grim for getting more Red-throated Loons, Black Scoters, or any Surf Scoters this season, but I’m still optimistic. On April 28 I noted how I had few Red-breasted Mergansers and Long-tailed Ducks — I thought perhaps they may be winding down, but that did not continue. Red-breasted Mergansers have returned to their average of 100 or so per day, and today I had my highest count of Long-tailed Ducks of the entire season — 2945!

The best highlight of the past four days was a Say’s Phoebe at the hawk watch on April 29 and 30. According to the Michigan Bird Records Committee, this is the 23rd state record.

Highlights of April 29 – May 2:

April 29
Redhead – 108
White-winged Scoter – 58
Long-tailed Duck – 543
Common Loon – 15
Red-necked Grebe – 1
Bonaparte’s Gull – 4

Golden Eagle – 1
Peregrine Falcon – 1

April 30
Redhead – 75
Lesser Scaup – 2
White-winged Scoter – 66
Long-tailed Duck – 886
Common Loon – 7
Red-necked Grebe – 1
Bonaparte’s Gull – 7

May 1
Redhead – 7
Greater Scaup – 13
Lesser Scaup – 7
White-winged Scoter – 18
Long-tailed Duck – 166
Common Loon – 15
Horned Grebe – 5

May 2
Redhead – 45
White-winged Scoter – 19
Long-tailed Duck – 2945
Common Loon – 15
Horned Grebe – 13
Bonaparte’s Gull – 1

Common Redpoll – 1 (getting late)

Say's Phoebe

Say’s Phoebe – April 29, 2016

Owl Banding, May 1/2

We banded one Northern Saw-whet Owl last night.  It was a tiny, second year, male.  We also watched a Long-eared Owl take flight around dusk.

There was a Hermit Thrush in our nets at sunrise. We have been enjoying hearing their beautiful songs each morning.

Tonight should be clear with a northwest wind of 5 to 10 mph.

Owl Banding, April 29/30

Two owls were banded last night. One was a second year, female saw-whet that was captured on our first net run of the night. The other was a long-eared that was captured on our final net run. A Great Horned Owl was heard calling near one set of nets.

Tonight should be partly cloudy with a light, west wind.

It is hard to believe we only have two weeks left of our owl banding season!