Yes . . . A Long-eared Owl
This week Young Naturalist J was off from school (winter break) and once I learned the crew would be out trying to band Short-eared Owls . . . I just knew we had to go. Weather was a little iffy but the great banding team did a wonderful job getting everything set up!
We saw our first Short-eared Owl foraging in the field once we arrived to the site and J leans over to say “my first for the year”! With one eye on the bird, I introduced Young Naturalist J to everyone and we then headed over to the Northern section where we were assigned to monitor a few traps. We had very little activity and finally decided to eat our subs . . . that’s when we found a Northern Harrier cruising up and down the field looking for its own dinner.
The southern section was continuity being visited with Short-eared Owls and Chuck (project organizer) suggested we come over to watch. We then enjoyed watching a Short-eared Owl feeding on a small rodent in one of the fields. North Section Radio: “we have an owl” South Section Radio: “you see an owl or caught one?” Northern Section Radio: “we caught an owl”! Quickly we turn the truck around and B-line for the Northern Section!! Guess what they caught!
I couldn’t believe it but they caught a Long-eared Owl!! O My Goodness . . . Long-eared Owls are very secretive birds and not regularly seen (for me at least). This bird was a lifer for Young Naturalist J and confirms the sighting for me (since my last find, I was only 99.9% sure that I was hearing a Long-eared). Excited . . . everyone in the group was excited!
I would like to thank Chuck and his entire team for allowing us to join him with his Project. It is very interesting seeing how others banders catch birds and then being able to share these experiences with Young Naturalist J (and everyone else). So, thanks!
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