The weather at the Straits has been rough over the last handful of days. We’ve received rain, sleet, snow, and/or high winds, which have made it impossible to band.
When the mist nets are wet, they cling to everything-almost becoming a sticky mess. They cling together, to your skin, clothes, grass, leaves, sticks…and, yes, they, especially, cling to feathers. Since the safety of the bird is our first priority, we absolutely do not band in the rain.
On evenings when the winds are blowing 15 mph or greater, we generally do not open the nets for a couple of different reasons. First, when the winds are really blasting, the nets are blown open and become taut, which make it relatively easy for a bird to pop right out. Secondly, depending on the wind direction, we don’t expect owls to be moving much on evenings with high winds. North winds in the fall, however, are the exception.
Having said that, the winds are blowing at about 10-15 with gusts as high as 20 from the north tonight, which is why I’m out here right now hoping to catch any stragglers as they make their way south. (Cold fingers and toes crossed)