Birds use the ability to fly for finding food, escaping from predators and even migrating to areas that can better support them when there are fewer resources available. Obviously their feathers are not permanent to their body and they need to replace their older (worn) feathers with new (sturdy) feathers. The molting (loosing and growing new feathers) patterns on the wing of the bird can help us banders understand the age of the bird (well sometimes). (more…)
What is wonderful about watching birds is that you can enjoy them anywhere you go in the world and you can also enjoy them in multiple ways! I have some friends who are just backyard birders and they just want to be sociable with others. Then I have those friends who are “listers” and will travel multiple miles just to see one species of bird that accidentally shown up in their state. Most birders fit somewhere between those two extremes and of course I am not sure where I fit!! I spent multiple months studying them via the Ornithological side (which is more the job side of birding) but I do enjoy the sociable and recreational side of birding (which is the fun side of birding). It seems like the Ornithological side always gets in the way when I am just trying to enjoy the bird around me. This is exactly what happened to me today!
We had another busy night at the Northern Saw-whet Owl banding station here in Allegany State Park. We had a fellow birdbander and 3 others from the Allegheny National Forest visit us this evening. They were able to see 2 of our Saw-whet Owls being banded and then be released (before heading home). We also had Sarah from Jamestown Audubon visit for most of the evening (and she was able to see 4 of the birds)! I tried to convince her to stay later but she needed to head home. I know that she made the right decision since we did not catch anything again until the wee hours of the night. It has been wonderful with so many visitors visiting the banding station this week. (more…)
Young Naturalist J glad to be banding again!!
We had more visitors at the Northern Saw-whet Owl banding station this evening than owls! I need to high-five Grace 🙂 for helping locate our 70th bird of the season (in the mist net) and then allowing me to barrow a book that I need to read. Mike and Terry decided to head home early after banding our first 2 fluff balls (thanks for visiting). Grace left only minutes before we captured our 3rd bird and then recaptured the 2nd bird again (The owl must be net happy). (more…)
Kids smiling for moms picture!
I had some smiling little visitors at the Northern Saw-whet Owl banding station tonight. I expected a “big” night with North-West winds but was only able to banded 3 different individual owls. Not sure why the other evening I captured 4 individuals with southern winds?? I assume science will just keep us guessing with unexpected answers! At least our future birders were happy and of course they didn’t want to head home!! Dad promised they could come back again before the end of the season. (more…)
Another busy Owl night this evening!! Obviously looking at the photos . . . . I captured my first Barred Owl for the season!! Yes, I did get taloned on the finger by this bird but nothing too bad! 😦 (more…)