Owl Mania!

Hello fellow Strigiphiles. As promised, there is more excitement to share with you from the previous banding nights. During the last three nights (Sept. 22, 23, and 24) we had exceptionally good weather with clear skies and no wind. Although it was quite warm, conditions nevertheless were still good for owl banding.

The night of the 22nd added 3 newly banded Saw-whets to the total season count. However, the first big night occurred on the 23rd in which we captured and banded 14 new Saw- whets. Then on the night of the 24th we captured 4 Saw- whets, one of which was previously banded somewhere else. Frances and I aged this bird as a second year (SY) female. It will be interesting to see how old this bird was when it was initially banded and where it came from. To date since opening our nets we have a total of 29 Northern Saw- whet captures, 28 of which we banded and 1 foreign recapture. Stay tuned for our next blog post to find out where our mystery owl came from!

Second Year (SY) female Saw-whet foreign recapture

You can clearly see the molt limit on this owl. The darker feathers indicate the newest generation of feathers replaced this fall, The more dull light brown are older retained feathers that are yet to be replaced.