Greetings raptor enthusiasts! Welcome to the 2018 spring owl banding blog. I am Matthew Hanneman and I’ll be the head owl bander for the MSRW this spring alongside my assistant owl bander, Connor Vara. We are very excited to be here contributing to the owl research for the Mackinaw Straits Raptor Watch.
Connor and I arrived in Cheboygan on the 14th of March and got settled into our cabin before starting banding operations on the night of the 15th. Unfortunately it has been a very slow season thus far with only one northern saw-whet owl captured and banded, a third-year (TY) female, meaning she hatched in the spring of 2016 and is now entering her third year of life. The winds have been out of the North and East lately which is not ideal for capturing owls at our site. However, we are optimistic that the winds will change in our favor and we’ll be able to band more owls soon!
That’s all for now, but be sure to check back regularly for more updates on the progress of our owl banding as well as the hawk migration and waterbird counts!