Last Saturday night, we finally got a full night of excellent weather at MSRW’s Point LaBarbe owl-banding station. Under high clouds, no significant precipitation and little wind, we caught a record number of owls. Sixty-one Northern Saw-whet Owls landed in our nets between 7:30 PM and 7:30 AM. Over 80% of these owls were young of the year (hatch-year) birds. Even though we have been catching a good number of already-banded owls this season, we had none for the night. In addition, we captured three Long-eared Owls – one hatch-year bird and two older owls.
We are getting close to the season records for number of owls caught at Point LaBarbe. The record is just under 550 saw-whets and we are at 540. So we are pretty confident that we will surpass this in the final two weeks of the banding season. The number of Long-eared Owls also is approaching a high number for this banding station. Will we surpass all records? Stay tuned for more of our record-setting season!
Owl-banding totals September 18th through October 24th:
Northern Saw-whet Owl: 540
Long-eared Owl: 8
Barred Owl: 2
-Nancy Drilling, lead owl-bander