Category Archives: 2014

Night of 24 October

We were almost skunked last night, but one, lone saw-whet prevented that from happening at the 2130 hr net check.

Southwest winds continued to build throughout the evening and eventually reached speeds around 15 mph. We wrapped up the nets around 0430 hrs due to the high winds.

I’m so very happy that last night’s group had the opportunity to see an owl before people started to head home.



Night of 23 October

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I have to say it again: catching a banded bird is so exciting!

We captured another 14 northern saw-whets last night and, you guessed it, one was banded. Her band was really dirty and needed to be wiped down before I could make out any digits. Evidence of a breeding bird, which makes me happy. After a few minutes of scrubbing, I retrieved the band info and submitted it to the banding lab. She was banded on 1 November 2012 near Newark, Greene County, Indiana as a hatch year bird. Last night,  she weighed in at a healthy 99 grams and we aged her as an after second year bird, which means that she’s older than two years.

The official count is 204 northern saw-whets and four barred owls. (In case anyone noticed, there was a bit of an adding error on my behalf from earlier in the week. It has been corrected and the above numbers are up-to-date.)

Tonight doesn’t look all that great. There is currently a stiff south wind that is supposed to increase to around 10-15 mph. We probably won’t catch many owls, but I’m hoping for a few since we have a small group coming out tonight.

Stay tuned.

Night of 22 October

We caught another 10 northern saw-whets last night.  Not the busiest evening, but definitely a beautiful one. There were still a few meteors lighting up the sky-remnants of the Orionids, I suppose.

NOAA is calling for a chance of drizzle tonight after midnight,  so we’ll see how it goes. Fingers crossed that we catch a few.

Night of 21 October

Another beautiful evening on the Straits last night. The winds started out NNE and then switched over to E a little after midnight. We started out pretty slow catching one here and one there and had seven saw-whets by 0030hrs. We were a little worried things would quit moving after the east winds moved in, but we actually continued to pick away at ’em.

We caught and banded a total of 17 saw whets last night. The official count is now 185 northern saw-whets and four barred owls. Not too shabby!

We’ll see what tonight and those light south winds do for us. Hopefully, the owls continue to move…stay tuned.

Night of 20 October

The weather started off a little iffy, but it ended up being a fairly decent evening. We caught 19 saw-whets last night-two of which were already banded! Its such a treat to catch a banded bird.

One of the two banded saw-whets we caught a couple of nights ago was banded at Whitefish Point Bird Observatory on 25 April 2013 as a second year female. There is no info on that second bird yet.

It’ll be interesting to see where the two from last night were banded and, as always, I’ll try to relay the info.

I’m predicting a busy week with all of this clear weather ahead of us. It’s evident that the birds are starting to move more and more, so things could get exciting. I know I’m not the only one hoping for a long-eared. Maybe this will be the week!

Night of 19 October

I gave it a try for an hour before the drizzle moved in and had to close the nets down at 2045. No owls were caught.

Thank you to Darrell Lawson for dropping in just in time to help unfurl the nets and for staying to help close them up.

Night of 18 October

Last night was awesome.

A cold, dry (finally) night with northwest winds was the perfect weather to get the owls moving. We had one saw-whet on the first net check and then seven on the second net check. After that, it was busy, busy, busy. Our last owl of the night (Er, morning?) was banded at 0615 hrs leaving the last two hours a little quiet.

We caught a total of 38 northern saw-whets and two barred owls. Of the 38 saw-whets, two were already banded. Ed is working on getting the info on those birds, which I’ll write about a little later.

Photo by Ed Pike

Little Brown Bat captured a few nights ago. BEAUTIFUL creatures (Photo by Selena Creed)


Night of 16 October

Fourteen more saw-whets were banded last night before the rain moved through at 0115 hrs. The nets were closed for the night at 0130.

We also caught our second healthy little brown bat of the season.

Official count is 111 northern saw-whets and 2 barred owls.