Last night, under a hazy full-ish moon, we finally caught our 100th Northern Saw-whet Owl of the season at MSRW’s owl-banding station at Historical Mill Creek Park. The second-year female was already banded; she was banded last fall near Valparaiso, IN.
At the end of March, when we had caught 62 owls in a little over two weeks, I couldn’t have imagined it would take almost a month to hit 100. But migration has slowed to a crawl and there has been plenty of bad weather when we couldn’t open up our nets. This weekly tally shows the progression of migration:
Mar 15 – 20: 26 saw-whets, 1 Barred Owl
Mar 21 – 27: 34 saw-whets
Mar 28 – Apr 3: 11 saw-whets
Apr 4 – 10: 16 saw-whets
Apr 11 – 17: 5 saw-whets
Apr 18 – 24: 6 saw-whets
Some of the birds that we captured in the past week were local breeding birds, not migrants. More about that in our next blog. Meanwhile, we hope to see a few more little migrants in our nets before we finish up in May.
Season Totals (March 15 through April 26):
Northern Saw-whet Owl: 100 (90 new, 10 recaptures)
Barred Owl: 1
Hermit Thrush: 1