From discussions with Mike, in northern Alberta, and Harold, near Prince Albert, it sounds like Northern Saw-whet Owls did not do well raising young in their areas, likely due to a crash in red-backed vole numbers. Both sites have only captured about a quarter of the owls they normally catch by this time in the migration!
So that does not bode well for us further south here. But only time will tell what flies our way!
Of interest though, the second owl we caught this year was a milestone bird! It was the 800th saw-whet we have banded at our farm since beginning to capture saw-whet here in 2006 (in 7 years)!
We can't believe we have captured so many of these charming owls over the last 7 years!
The 800th Northern Saw-whet Owl captured at our banding station on Sept 27th, 2013.