Hello all:

The banding season official came to a close on October 31.  Since our last post on October 22, we added 11 Northern Saw-Whet Owls to our season totals.  The biggest push for these birds came on the night of October 24 with 7 owls banded.

In total this season we banded:

1 American Woodcock

58 Northern Saw-whet Owls

2 Long-eared Owls

2 Barred Owls

Total: 63 birds banded

These numbers put us at the second lowest season ever for fall banding at Whitefish Point Bird Observatory.  While these numbers are low, the weather played a big role in our season.  In total, over the 6 weeks of banding, we were only able to stay open a full night 4 times.  The rest nights we either had to open late or close early.  It is known that weather affects bird migration so this maybe why our numbers are so low.  It was also comforting to know that several other Northern Saw-Whet banding station were struggling with the same weather we were giving them low numbers as well.

A special thanks to everyone who came out for the owl program and who visited us in the lab. It’s always nice to meet everyone and see how much people love the owls.

Finally, a huge thank you to Chris Neri and Nova MacKentley.  From setting up nets, picking up groceries, chopping up fallen trees, and answering our billions of questions.  We couldn’t have done it without you guys! You’re the best!

As always I’ll leave you with a few pictures:

A blue-spotted salamander that we stumbled across walking the net lanes one night.

Northern Saw-Whet Owl

Northern Saw-Whet Owl

-Tori Steely and Ceeanna Zulla