Second Try! [Part 1]
I have learned that if you first don’t succeed . . . . try, try again!! Yesterday Jennifer from A Passion for Nature and I decided to head up to Buffalo for another attempt at Short-eared Owl banding with State Biologist Chuck Rosenburg from the Department of Environmental Conservation. You might remember my last trip a few weeks ago with many great views and two “almost” catches!!! Although seeing these amazing birds flying around is fun . . . our primary mission was watching them being banded. The question is: will we catch something??
We both started on the Northern end waiting anxiously for any kind of bird activity. We enjoyed listening to a Great-horned Owls hooting in the background, a flock of Cedar Waxwings circling around us and a then a flock of Common Redpolls/American Goldfinch/Dark-eyed Juncos selecting their evening roost into the Christmas tree plantation. Suddenly we had a Short-eared Owl moving directly towards us . . . . closer and closer it came . . . quickly I handed my binocs over to Jen and went for my camera! I looked over my shoulder just as the Short-eared Owl dropped to the grass (almost right in front of Jen). Jen told me about it capturing a small critter before the Red-tailed Hawk decided to arrived. The Red-tailed Hawk took a few dives at the Short-eared Owl and then both birds moved in every which direction!! How many times do I need to say how amazing it is to watch these guys??
We had a little down time after this amazing sighting and decided to eat some dinner . . . . talked about blogging . . . . and then listened to the walkie-talkies regarding the birds on the Southern end (all while we were drastically searching for any movement). It appears that the Red-tailed Hawks had also made an appearance in the Southern end which kept the birds from hunting (in both areas)! Lucky we had Sherry (another volunteer) to find some owls roosting in the tree and spooked 3 short-eared owls into flight. This is when things started to get exciting . . . Jen yelled “a bird is flying out in the field“! We both were trying to get the night vision working (it was dark and the raining was coming down as hard as it possibly could). Sherry reports over the walkie-talkie that one of the traps have been triggered (“the light is on”)!!
We all jump out of the vehicles and start running into the field. Sure enough we had a Short-eared Owl and we safely threw a towel over it! As Jen states “our adrenaline started flowing” and we just realized that we not only had one but another one was also in the BC trap. Everything became a blurr at this point and probably was more confusing with the Southern team because they were also focusing on a bird moving towards there traps (we almost had a hat trick). We got both of the Northern birds out of the trap and would have worked faster if I didn’t get myself tangled. Once the Southern team arrived to the site they said “you have two??”!
This was such a perfect evening with these most beautiful owls! I would like to thank Chuck and his entire team for allowing us to join him in banding these owls. Then to Jennifer for putting up with me on the long drive up to the banding site. Next post [part 2] will be about the banding process, the transmitter and releasing the owls.
|Subscribe to Mon@rch||All Rights Reserved ©2006-2008|