Owl Banding 10/16/16

Point LaBarbe, St. Ignace, MI
Night of October 16th, 2016

Another exciting weather night made for a decent night of banding, netting us a total of 22 new birds. We banded 16 females (11 hatch years, 3 second years, and 2 after second year birds), 2 males (both hatch year birds), and 4 unknown birds (3 hatch years and 1 second year). The weather started calm with a slight breeze of 2-3 mph at opening around 8 pm, escalating to 6-15 mph at 1 am, 11-17 mph at 2 am, 15 – 27 mph at 4 am and finally topping out at 18 -29 mph accompanied by frequent lightening at 6 am bringing me to the decision of closing the nets a little early. And boy am I glad I did, as the skies opened and it started dumping right before 7 am, right when I would have been doing my last net check!

Photos courtesy of Rob Routledge, Professor at Sault College

Measuring wing cord, which helps determine the owl's sex (as with all raptors, females are larger than males)

Measuring wing cord, which helps determine the owl’s sex (as with all raptors, females are larger than males)

Using special pliers to attach a leg band marking the Saw-whet owl with a unique number

Using special pliers to attach a leg band marking the Saw-whet owl with it’s own unique number