October 15th – Starting The Day Off Right

Loretta and Saw-whet checking each other out.

Some days just start off right.

This morning I was just opening Net 6, in the gloom of early morning, when I heard a scrabbling in the dogwood shrubs. I looked up to see a Saw-whet Owl, at eye height and only 5 feet away, staring back at me. Very slowly I continued opening the net fully. And as soon as it was extended, the little owl flew into it! What luck. It turned out to be the last owl banded on Friday night – an older (ASY) female. Comparing weights between this morning and Friday, the bird had gained over 21 g. About the weight of a White-throated Sparrow or…..

It’s not often that you see a Saw-whet during the day.

A very strong SW wind blew throughout the night and continued through the morning. Consequently, we only opened nets that had some modicum of protection from the wind. Even these were billowing at times. We also set out some ground traps. Despite limited “catching capacity”, we managed to handle 63 birds: 39 banded; 24 retraps. We continue to have a big Ruby-crowned Kinglet movement, banding another 10 bringing our Fall total up to 154.

These eyes must strike terror into the hearts of their prey.

Banded 39:
1 Mourning Dove
2 Black-capped Chickadees
2 Golden-crowned Kinglets
10 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
1 Swainson’s Thrush
4 American Robins
4 Cedar Waxwings
3 Myrtle Warblers
1 Northern Cardinal
3 Song Sparrows
1 Swamp Sparrow
3 White-throated Sparrows
2 House Finches
2 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 24:
1 Northern Saw-whet Owl
1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
8 Hermit Thrushes
3 Myrtle Warblers
2 Song Sparrows
1 Eastern White-crowned Sparrow
1 Purple Finch
4 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 40 spp.
Fall Banding Total: 3,638
Year-to-Date Banding Total: 6,223


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