Owl Banding: Hawk Time


This blog post is a little treat that Arthur and I thought we would share that we are sure all you loyal MSRW blog followers would enjoy. As mentioned in the previous blog post the few weeks we banded owls in May was super slow. Thus this somehow gave Arthur and I extra energy we had previously not had due to staying up all hours of the night.Then our boss and the chair of MSRW Ed Pike offered us the opportunity to do some diurnal raptor trapping with him in Mackinaw city. This was super exciting and was a lot of fun as many new skills were learned on the few outings that we were able to take part. Here are the species of hawk that were captured while trapping. Sharp-shinned hawk, Red-tailed hawk, and Rough-legged hawk. Our totals for each species were as follows:
5- Sharp shinned hawk
9- Red tailed hawks
1- Rough – legged hawk

ATY Female Sharp-shinned Hawk

Chairman of MSRW, Ed Pike and Naturalist Frances Whalen comparing tail morphology of different age classes among Red-tailed Hawks. On the left is a SY RTHA and on the right is an ATY RTHA

Owl bander Nick Alioto with a Rough-legged Hawk

This form of trapping is very exciting as we get to see the birds fly into the nets. Handling these big powerful hawks is truly incredible and you gain a lot more respect for these majestic avian Apex predators of the air. We hope you enjoy some of these awesome photos of some pretty neat birds.