Fall owl banding has begun!

Here on Point LaBarbe the fall season of owl banding for 2022 has made its start! Before we get into the details of how the past few days have gone, the owl banders, Jodi and I, would like to introduce ourselves.

My name is Jodi Pinder, and I am the Lead Owl Bander for the 2022 fall season. I enjoy nature, rock climbing, birding, and art. I graduated from the University of New Haven with a Bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology in 2014. Not long after graduating I found my love for ornithology and have since worked with Common Loons, Black-capped Chickadees, Northern Bobwhite, Dark-eyed Juncos, and now owls! I have always had a love for raptors and am very excited for this season and all that it has to offer.

Here is Jodi with a Northern Saw-whet Owl (NSWO) that had just been processed.

Hi everyone! My name is Hannah Glass, and I am the Assistant Owl Bander this fall. I graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Conservation in 2020. I gained a passion for birds at a young age through birding with my dad and have pursued avian field jobs since college and post-graduation, working with Cerulean Warblers, Tree Swallows, Saltmarsh Sparrows, Yellow Rails, Black Rails, and Golden-cheeked Warblers. Owls, however, have always been one of my favorite families of birds, so I am extremely excited to get to help study them this fall!

Here I have a hatch-year female NSWO. Hatch year means that this owl was born this year, 2022. You can determine the age of an owl using the wing molt and the sex using weight and wing measurements.

Alright, now it’s time for the good stuff: all things owls! This fall it was decided to start the banding season a bit earlier than in past years due to owls typically being caught right at the start date of the season (~September 18th). We started on September 15th, hoping to catch any owls that started moving southbound a little early. However, the weather the first few days made for unsuccessful nights. In turn, the first owl (NSWO) of the season was not caught until the early morning hours of September 19th, a day later than that of an average season. The next day proved even more successful with a total capture of 5 NSWO, leaving us with a total of 6 NSWO to this date! As the season picks up, we are looking forward to larger numbers of owls moving through the straits. Stay tuned!

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