An unusual visitor at the banding station
The Barred Owl (Strix varia) is a year round resident who doesn’t migrate like the Northern Saw-whet Owls. They have a very large 42 inch wingspan and a very rounded head. I hear many more Barred Owls than those I get to see. Their very well known for their calls in the middle of the night which sounds like “hoo hoo ho-ho, hoo hoo ho-hoooooaw” or also known as “who cooks for you, who cooks for you all”. Bents life history series of books mentions that they are more diurnal than nocturnal but I guess that depends on the neighboring food supply.
I have had these owls in my nets before but they always seem to get out before my opportunity to band them. The banding team took no chances in giving this owl a chance to get out. This is an adult bird which I was unable to determine its sex! You can be sure that everyone at the station was extremely excited once we realized what we had just captured. As you can see they are very large in size compared to the tiny N Saw-whet Owls that we are use to handling. The moon was bright and we truly didn’t expect a saw-whet (which I should mention we also captured) yet alone a Barred!
As you can see, most of the movements of birds were mostly along the eastern side of New York and New Jersey! Althought there was some movement across all of the North East.