Short-eared Owl [video]
Yesterday evening I was invited to join a State Biologist from the Department of Environmental Conservation in banding some Short-eared Owls up in the Buffalo, NY area. If you know me . . . . I couldn’t resist this opportunity to seeing such an amazing bird up close. I decided to take a half day from work and drive the 2 hours up north for these marvelous birds! Chuck and his team had already finished setting everything up and was about to starting to test the equipment (sunset was approaching fast). Just as he felt that everything was ready . . . . the most beautiful Short-eared Owl suddenly appeared from behind us as if it was a flying ghost!! I never saw so many people scatter to there vehicles as I did then!!
I was at the farthest north section of the field and monitoring a few traps that we had out in the field. We all had radios with us and it came across that they had just caught a Northern Harrier. I felt like a little kid in being too focused on the traps and hoping for our first Short-eared Owl of the night! By the time I made it to the Southern end . . . . the group had already released the Harrier (No worries, we were here for Owls)! Our section had one individual that we thought we might have had captured . . . . but it somehow got away without getting its feet tangled! The Southern end also had an “almost” capture, which ultimately amazes me how smart these birds really are! Last evening we didn’t banded any Short-eared Owls but I did get some reasonable video of them (considering how fast it got dark). I felt it was a remarkable day with a great opportunity to watch these stunning birds go up and down the field in-search of food. Highlight of the night was the one owl flying directly over the hood of my truck!! It felt like a dream with angels circling!
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