Owl update: October 12

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On the night of the 12th, we once again had the pleasure of hosting a batch of wildlife techniques students from Sault College, but sadly the weather got fickle and slushy on us so we couldn’t open the nets.  Such is the tragic condition of weather-contingent field work, alas!   Regardless, I don’t think the snow-rain and lack of wee owls really dampened anyone’s enjoyment of the night, and much fun was had around the fire.

By 3 am I got to open the nets, and eventually caught 4 saw whet owls and 1 barred owl.

Mister 391. I admired his equanimity while I took measurements.

None of the saw whets were hatch years, which makes me concerned for the owl populations who tend to use the Straits for their migration routes.  Saw whets clutch between 3 and 7 eggs, meaning in a good baby year we would easily expect to see a 3:1 ratio of young birds to adult birds.

One of the saw whets was a foreign recapture, so as always – stay tuned as we uncover more tidbits about where this bird was originally banded!

Finally, I am delighted to share a special piece of artwork by MSRW Executive Director, Rich Couse.

“He captures well the quality of saw whet eyes that wobbles along the narrow edge of cute and the screaming abyss.” — critique by Alma Schrage, intern for Cape May Bird Observatory

Until next time,

-MH