Start of the New Season
Tonight was the start of my Northern Saw-whet Owl studies here in Allegany State Park. This is my 3rd year out collecting data and I will be continuing this season’s studies for the next 6 weeks (so expect most of my blog reports to be about owls and bird migration).
There is very little information on the migration routes of the smallest owl found in New York State. The Northern Saw-whet Owl is a very secretive bird and has been overlooked for many years now. My goal is to get a better understanding of the fall migration in Allegany State Park, NY. With bird banding, we can better understand where these migrant birds nest and where they go for the winter season.
These photos are of the first Northern Saw-whet Owl captured for the season. We call this a “hatch year” bird because it was a bird hatched earlier this summer. What was unique about this bird was that it’s late in going through its first prebasic molt (which is loosing its juvenal feathers into its first set of adult feathers). The picture above shows some juvenal feathers still in its body but its very close to looking like an adult bird. As the season progresses, I will show you ways that we identify the age of the bird (with a black light), different animals I encounter and the many other things that we can learn about these owls. I can’t wait to share with everyone how amazing these birds are.