Friday, October 24, 2008

Northern Saw-whet Owls in Edenwold

This fall we began our third season of capturing saw-whet owls near Edenwold. We began this year on Sept 22 and have been banding every night with good weather.
We are attempting to capture these small owls as they are migrating through the area. We arrive at the farm we are banding at around dusk and open the nets and start our caller. The birds are attracted to the call we broadcast and come into see what is going on. The birds then fly around and get caught in the net. We usually keep the nets open and audiolure calling until about midnight.

To date we have captured 132 owls this fall. This is down from the last two years, which is likely due to the fact that we missed 7 days straight of banding during peak migration time.
The highest number of owls I caught this fall in one evening was 20 owls. The lowest was 0.

(Photo: Size 4 short bands specifically for saw-whets)

This year Kristen, my girlfriend, has been banding at another site ~5 km SE of my site. She has been banding for about half the time that I have spent at Edenwold this fall. So far she has captured 57 owls this fall, which demonstrates that a lot of owls are moving through this area!!
More results to come!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hi there. Great pictures and report on your dealings with Saw-Whet Owls in the past. I live in Toronto, and this past Friday, my wife and I came upon an adult Saw-Whet Owl out in the bush. This was the first time as birders that we had ever seen a Saw-Whet Owl. Fortunately, we had our camera with us and got some good pictures and video. We have posted them for anyone interested at: