Once again, Nick and I just had three consecutive days of banding. Last night was April 2nd going into the morning of the 3rd. As we are comforted by our routine of opening nets, the sounds of spring arriving is inspiring, giving us hope for more Northern Saw-whet Owls migrating through.
Our predictions from the other night were a tad premature, as the past three banding days proved us right. Last night we encountered peak movements for the season thus far. In only a few net runs, we had a few NSWO captures. In the middle of the banding night, we captured our second Long-eared Owl, also a NSWO in the same net. These birds were captured in net 7, approximately 600 meters east of the triangle. On our next net round we were pleasantly surprised to have netted 10 NSWOs in net 1. These captures kept us busy until the proceeding net run. The following net round, we captured 10 more Saw-whets. As we were extracting the owls that were already netted, more Saw-whets kept flying into the net! Coming from a station that has a low capture rate for NSWOs, this was overly exhilarating! These are the moments I look forward to and thrive on! Its go time! Now, we must extract, band, and process as efficiently as possible. Micro-ageing can be difficult at times, but there is no room for indecisiveness. In moments like this, banders must work quickly and make accurate decisions based off of their knowledge of ageing and sexing birds, something that I find to be extremely fun. Like I mentioned previously, these are the moments I look forward to. 21 Saw-whets and 1 LEOW is not to shabby for one night of banding.
After this banding night, this brings us to a total of 72 newly banded Saw-whets, 3 recaptured Saw-whets, and 2 LEOWs. We are now at 77 total owl captures, and I believe that we will break 100 in the upcoming banding days. Will you be keeping up with us as we break 100 captures? Until next time, good birding!