Hello everyone and welcome to the MSRW owl banding blog for this fall. My name is Nick Alioto and I will be the head owl bander this season for MSRW. I can’t begin to emphasize how excited I am to be back and banding! My assistant this fall will be Frances Whalen who, as a lot of you may remember, was the Naturalist this past spring at the Hawk Watch.
Frances and I arrived in St.Ignace on September 18 in order to get settled in and get used to being nocturnal. Our official starting date to band is September 20, but we have banded on both the 18th and 19th to see if any owls were moving. On the night of September 18 the weather was perfect with clear skies and no wind. We were excited to capture 2 Northern Saw-Whet Owls. Both of these birds were hatch year (HY), meaning they were just hatched this spring/summer. One was female and the one was unknown but was likely a male due to its small size.
On the 19th we once again opened nets and caught 1 Saw-Whet, an HY female. Although it was a slow night, catching just one owl makes the long hours worthwhile. Unfortunately, last night we were unable to stay open long and caught no owls due to a thunder and lightning storm. Be sure to check back for regular updates on the progress of the season.