Spring of the Recaptures

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Hello once again followers and supporters of MSRW! I’m back again to give all you fine folks an update on what has been going on at the banding station this past week. I have to start by mentioning that it is starting to feel like spring at the park. That is because 95% of the snow is now gone which is quite exciting to us and we are also starting to see more and more songbirds show up. Some of the notable sightings have been Belted Kingfisher, Winter wren, Song sparrow, American robin, Merlin, Sharp-shinned hawk, Yellow-shafted flicker, Brown creeper, Golden-crowned kinglet, Eastern phoebe, Yellow-bellied sapsucker and one of my personal favorites the American Woodcock aka the “Timberdooodle”. Now apart from the songbirds the owls have also continued to move through but it has definitely been slower this past week as we have only been averaging between 3-5 a night. It also has not helped that we haven’t had favorable winds or the best weather but we stay positive nonetheless and have still been doing very good.

Now the crazy thing is the amount of recaptured saw-whets we seem to be continually getting so let me get you caught up on the new birds from this past week! Since my last blog I left you with one bird on which we were waiting to get news on. Well we got the information and it turns out this NSWO was originally banded at Whitefish Point as a second year female in the spring of 2017. Therefore this bird would have hatched in 2016 which means this bird is in its 4th calendar year of life! Lucky for us we aged her as ATY (after third year) which means we assigned her the right age! Also in this past week we managed to catch an additional 3 recaptures and have info on two of the three. The one NSWO had no information available on it meaning that it probably was just banded this past fall and wherever it originated from the data has not yet been entered. The other owls turned out to be both Canadian birds one was originally banded in Malden Centre, Ontario which is also known as a banding station called Holiday Beach. The last recapture was very interesting as this bird was originally banded in D’alembert, Quebec and the distance from here to Cheboygan is about 500 miles! This owl was banded as a hatch year female this past fall, which means she is still a young bird and far from where she originally called home. Sometimes younger birds take different routes as they try and navigate their way back north to their breeding grounds. This is one reason we love recaptures to see how and if migration routes are changing for these birds. All we can say is that we wish her all the best on the rest of her journey and hope she makes it back to the boreal forest! Until next time keep your eyes to the sky and stay classy I will as always do my best to keep you all updated as the season continues to progress and hopefully will have more exciting news in the upcoming week.

Season Totals: Total Birds: 150

NSWO: 131

LEOW: 3

BDOW: 2

Recaptures: 14