Owl Banding Fall 2016 Season Summary

11/12/16
Point LaBarbe, St. Ignace, MI

What a season, I’m so glad I came back to The Straits for fall migration! We captured and banded 550 owls between September 20th and November 10th of which 541 were Saw-whets, 8 were Long-eared Owls, and 1 was a Barred Owl. The majority of Saw-whet owls captured were hatch year females. It is understandable why there were so many hatch years, as winter will be the first test of their fitness, but the jury is still out on why so many more females were caught versus males. Are male owls not attracted to the audio lure like the females, or do males stay on their territories all winter? Further research is needed to answer that question.

I would like to thank all the great people at the Mackinaw Straits Raptor Watch for the support and opportunity to participate in such an amazing experience and all the visitors that made it out to the station to see what we do. The company was greatly appreciated. It helped break up the monotony of living and working like a vampire alone in the dark! Also, big thank you to everyone who donated towards the new living quarters, your generosity made for a much more comfortable season for me and any future owl banders!