My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

Fluff Balls

Northern  Saw-whet Owl
Northern Saw-whet Owl

Yeah! I finally caught not just one but two fluff balls last night (8 October 2007)! I have had the Northern Saw-whet Owl banding station open here in Allegany State Park since the 30th of September and was starting to wonder “where are they”!! This isn’t my latest dates but it was very close to it! Back in 2004 when I first started banding Saw-whets . . . . I caught my first bird on the 9th of October and was my first night “ever” trying to catch any! Then in 2005 we caught our first one on the 3rd of October and last year (2006) we caught one on the 1st of October. It has been promising to know that other local (Western New Yorkers and North Western Pennsylvanian) Saw-wheters also have been behind in catching these guys.

nexrad 8 oct 2007 wind ne 8 oct 2007
Click maps to view the NEXRAD and Wind Maps for 8 Oct 2007

The above radar images show that this isn’t your typical weather patterns for movement of these little guys heading south but I will not complain. Winds were coming from the west and NEXRAD did show some birds moving (but the radar was in the storm mode which isn’t that sensitive for viewing migration). I do feel that the past weeks southern winds and warm temperatures have bottled these cute little fluff balls up in Southern Ontario where Saw-whet Banders have been catching them in record numbers. I just need to wait a little while and the more birds the Ontario banders catch . . . . the more foreign recaptures that I will find in my nets.

Northern Saw-whet Owl
First bird of the year always gets the full photo-shoot!

FYI: If you were wondering, I caught a hatch year male and a second year female last night. Can’t wait to see what might show up tonight!

32 responses

  1. Andrea

    beautiful, and i missed it :o(….very very sad.
    but very happy you had such luck sunday!

    9 October 2007 at 8:22 pm

  2. montucky

    Absolutely gorgeous birds! Wow!

    9 October 2007 at 8:35 pm

  3. Yay Tom!!! What little cuties these owls are!! Can’t wait to see how many more you end up banding.

    9 October 2007 at 8:41 pm

  4. Congratulations! What a beautiful little owl. Look at those eyes.

    9 October 2007 at 9:01 pm

  5. I love its eyes. The contrast of the black and yellow is so wonderful. It has been unseasonable warm here as well. I know it must mess up the migration patterns of the birds here. I am happy you finally got your owl. ~nita~

    9 October 2007 at 9:04 pm

  6. Yay Tom! I’m excited to read your saw-whet posts.

    9 October 2007 at 9:12 pm

  7. What a fantastic portrait, great shot Tom!

    9 October 2007 at 9:21 pm

  8. Marg

    High Five Tom!

    and of course your photos of the first of the year is adorable!

    9 October 2007 at 9:34 pm

  9. What a beautiful bird. I hope to see an owl in the wild sometime. And you say there are record numbers being banded in Southern Ontario!

    9 October 2007 at 9:40 pm

  10. Oh my goodness, those birds are beautiful. I want your job.

    9 October 2007 at 10:03 pm

  11. @ Andrea – so missed you guys and wish you would have just drove up to the banding station! Maybe next time?
    @ montucky – thanks!
    @ Pam – hmm, maybe I have a few more tonight already??
    @ Robin – thanks and they have amazing eyes!
    @ Nita – thanks and this crazy has been nuts! Should be a good season!
    @ Lynne – you probably will get bored of the post in the future!
    @ Bernie – thanks
    @ Marg – HIGH FIVE right back at ya! Poor bird got all kinds of pictures!
    @ Ruth – thanks and I also have Barred Owl and Eastern Screech Owl around the banding station! This is an irruption year for many of our northern birds!
    @ Barb – this is all done during non work time!

    9 October 2007 at 10:04 pm

  12. Congrats! I knew they would be waiting for you!

    You will have a busy October by the looks of the Weather. It looks alot more condusive in the coming week with cooler Temps and NW winds.That works well here in Central Ontario. Have caught 2 sofar tonight and a EASO recapture from last Wednesday.

    9 October 2007 at 10:26 pm

  13. Yea!!! They have got to be the cutest.
    If weather is good I’ll be going to the banding on thursday morning at PI state park.
    Looking forward to seeing more.

    9 October 2007 at 11:32 pm

  14. What an impressive bird!

    9 October 2007 at 11:41 pm

  15. sweet! What an amazingly gorgeous guy! I’d marry him if I was not taken. He is beautiful. Amazing shots Mon@rch!!!!

    10 October 2007 at 3:54 am

  16. Another incredible entry.
    I’m happy they showed up!

    10 October 2007 at 6:33 am

  17. I have been waiting for these guys to show up on here. I sure am glad that they finally decided to start visiting the nets.

    10 October 2007 at 7:14 am

  18. @ Garth – Yes, long been waiting for sure! Lets hope those NE winds hit us soon! Sweet with your current birds!
    @ toni – For sure they are and hope PISP banding goes good! Why Thrusday? Is that the only day they are banding?
    @ Erie – thanks
    @ aullori – You talking the bird or me?? Only kidding!
    @ Rebecca – thanks and so don’t I!
    @ Jeremy – you have no idea how long I have been waiting! Hey, I have a Dragonfly for you to identify for me!

    10 October 2007 at 7:32 am

  19. Great Job! I’m glad you finally got him! He’s so beautiful. PS Love the radar!

    10 October 2007 at 11:18 am

  20. A very cute owl! I can’t wait to see what’s next.

    I’ve only seen one owl in the wild and it was a few weeks ago, just before dawn, and it was perched on my neighbors roof across the street. Just a silhouette of a GHO.

    10 October 2007 at 2:01 pm

  21. What stunning shots of this beautiful owl, Tom! They are amazing birds.

    10 October 2007 at 2:17 pm

  22. OMG, owls are so amazing, love the close-up — how can ya’ not love that face 🙂

    Great pics!

    10 October 2007 at 3:19 pm

  23. @ Chicago – thanks and I was soo excited to find these guys!
    @ Mary – will try my best to keep my many owl nights interesting! This is where I need to be creative!
    @ Lisa – thanks and I so agree with you!
    @ dovelove – thanks and I two love those guys! Thanks!

    10 October 2007 at 9:29 pm

  24. Awwww…He’s beautiful!! A fluff ball indeed!
    Great photo!!

    10 October 2007 at 11:03 pm

  25. What a cutie! Worth the wait and anticipation indeed!

    11 October 2007 at 3:58 pm

  26. what wonderful shots – well caught!

    12 October 2007 at 10:59 am

  27. Birdbander11

    OH MY GOSH it is so cute I just want to cuddle with it…if it would not hurt me or fly away!

    12 October 2007 at 6:55 pm

  28. @ Catherine – thanks and you should see them up close!
    @ Jayne – thanks and glad they are moving!
    @ david – thanks
    @ birdbander11- a few of them knew exactly how to use its tallons!! Hope you don’t let it go!!

    12 October 2007 at 7:38 pm

  29. This bird is so darling! I just love coming here and seeing all the different birds you get to be with.
    I have never seen one of these owls. Incredible.
    Divine! Your photos are so clear and crisp I feel as If I could reach right into the screen and pat this dear owl. I may need to move…
    Congratulations on netting your first owl of the season. I hope you have many, many more!

    12 October 2007 at 9:11 pm

  30. That’s a beautiful looking owl.That’s great that you can capture such great photos of a bird like that.-When are you going to start publishing Monarch’s Nature magazine?

    13 October 2007 at 3:47 pm

  31. @ Sherry – thanks and they are great for sure! Thanks for your kind words and I always try to take good shots! Thanks!
    @ Larry – thanks and this is as close as I am going to get to nature writing! Thanks though!

    14 October 2007 at 12:25 pm

  32. John Longhenry

    Enjoyed your pics and blog on the Saw-whets from earlier in October. We trapped 29 Saw-whets between Friday/Saturday 10/12-13/07 as they were coming through Northern Illinios. We run our owl nights the next two Saturdays and are hoping that more of the little guys keep coming. Also nice to see that you’re still around, hadn’t heard from you lately nor seen any of your pics posted.

    20 October 2007 at 12:34 am

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