Author Archives: clair mellinger

No Banding Tonight – Friday, November 16

Due to high winds (at least higher than I like for opening the nets) and snow and ice on the ground and on the nets, we won’t try to band tonight.   It looks like the sun will melt most of the snow and ice today and tomorrow, so it appears that we can open the nets tomorrow night.  Check here again tomorrow for the final word.

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10 Owls captured in the lower nets

While I entertained myself applying ice packs to my face, Zig, Chris Lehman, Ron King, Robyn Puffenbarger and more of the Bridgewater College ecology class were banding 7 more owls and examining some retrapped banded owls last night.  The foreign retrap was an HY bird which means that this is the second time in 2-3 months that it is been captured.  Zig said some of the owls were pretty unhappy … and she was probably one of that persuasion.    The Bird Banding Lab doesn’t yet have the information on who banded her.

We also learned of two birds that we banded in previous years that have recently been encountered elsewhere.  One of Scott Weidensaul’s banders captured an owl that we had banded six years ago!  At least Scott reported that using our banding data, he calculated that it was six-year-old owl.  Six is serious old age for a saw-whet.  But wait! There’s more!  Recently Amanda Dillon, who bands saw-whets somewhere between Albany and Schenectady, caught an owl that we banded in 2012!  We judged the owl to be a 2-year-old+ bird when we banded it.  That would make it an 8-year-old+ bird now.  This may be the oldest documented Northern Saw-whet Owl in the Bird Banding Lab’s files.  If not the oldest on record, it at least one of the oldest!!  More exclamation points!!  Well, on to the

FORECAST

No owling tonight.  Do I need to spell it out for you?

Friday – Now Friday is looking very doubtful.  They are predicting strong breezes which do not appear to be dying at sunset. Right now (Thursday evening) I am leaning toward not opening on Friday night.  Check again tomorrow.

Saturday – It looks like we are in for a stretch of good weather … but don’t take anything for granted.  Check here.

Ron King

100

Last night we banded our 100th Northern Saw-whet Owl for November. Also caught two owls that we had banded earlier in the month.

Today I am opting to have oral surgery rather than band owls.  (Poor choice … I know.)  Zig will open the lower nets and attempt to get a good start on our second 100 before the “ice pellets” start pelleting.

FORECAST

Tonight, 14 November – Yes, but only the lower nets will be open

Thursday – Get to know your spouse night.

Friday – Looks like the start of a stretch of good weather.   But alway check here before starting your trip.

Bridgewater ecology classChris Wilt

Banding tonight

The station was closed last night.  We’ll say the owls won.

The foreign retrap that some of you saw on Sunday night was banded in Dauphin County, PA, at one of Scott Weidensaul’s banding stations.  That station is pretty nearly straight north of us.  However it was banded last year, not this fall.  You can see the Certificate of Appreciation that was sent to us by the USGS Bird Banding Lab by clicking on the link below.

C of A 11Nov18

FORECAST

The weather looks good for tonight and tomorrow night and pretty awful for Thursday night ... but if you are coming up, please check later in the day for any last minute changes.

No banding tonight (Monday, November 12); Owls do well on Sunday night.

11 Nov owlmartha and owlWe banded 15 owls last night bringing our season total to 93.  Over 70% of these owls are HY (hatch-year) birds indicating a good reproductive success this past summer  This bodes well for the species survival and success.  Incidentally the owls outpaced the visitors 15-4 on Sunday night!

FORECAST

Tonight (November 12) we will stay home and drink coffee/cocoa by the fire … and probably read a book for at least 10 minutes until we fall asleep.

At this point conditions look OK for banding on Tuesday and Wednesday nights but check here again tomorrow.

Thursday looks like an evening for going to the opera or sleeping.  I suspect that I will choose the latter.

More owls

Sorry that I didn’t get to posting until now.  We had a big night last night. The owls but up a heroic effort but got trampled 42-25.   Our total of newly banded owls now stands close to 80.  The weather conditions look good again for tonight.  We’ll see.

FORECAST

Tonight; bright green light

Monday night appears to be a night to rest and catch up on sleep