Mammals vs. Mist nets: 3-0

Last night was the first night since 23- September that no owls were banded. The winds were from the southeast all night at about 5-8 mph with 10 mph gusts.

I did, however, have a brief encounter with a little brown bat. Ed had told me more than once that if they get into the net they’ll try to chew their way out. It’s amazing the amount of damage a tiny bat can create in such a short period of time. At my 0100 hr net check I spotted the bat in the top panel of one of the nets and decided I had better put a pair of gloves on before attempting to help it out.

Wow, what incredibly beautiful creatures they are. If you’ve never seen a little brown bat up close, Google it and check out the set of teeth on these guys. Impressive!

I was able to remove the little guy and let him get back to his evening of bug-control, but not before he could chew a few softball-sized holes in the net. Again, those teeth…

The rain moved in at about 0500 hrs and I went out to wrap the nets up before it really started coming down. While wrapping the south side of the net up, I noticed the bottom shelf line completely limp and discovered that it was severed as well as another large hole in the bottom panel. I’m guessing it was a snowshoe hare or another small mammal. I saw a pair of red, beady eyes in the brush on my way out to the net, but the creature was gone just as quickly as it appeared.

It looks like rain for tonight, so we won’t be banding. We all know how forecasts can change, so we’ll have to see what tomorrow brings.

Cheers.