Date: 10/31/20 7:09 am From: Mitchell Pruitt <mitchellpruitt24...> Subject: Northern Saw-whet Owls in Madison County
After nothing but wet cold fronts since the saw-whet owl banding season started over a week ago, there’s finally been a break! Last night, two healthy hatch-year individuals hit the nets; one a female, the other an unknown sex. Fortunately, I got blood samples, so it won’t be unknown forever :-D
To put this into a regional perspective…a colleague at the Missouri River Bird Observatory to our north, has had one of her best years yet. Thursday was her second best night ever, with 13 owls captured. Just to the west, in Tahlequah, OK, another colleague made a first capture of the season on Thursday night.
To put this into a larger perspective, researchers across the eastern US continue to capture near-record numbers. There is a high proportion of hatch-year owls in the mix. So saw-whet owls had a very productive breeding season, at least in the east, which ultimately manifests into the large number of migrants being captured.
Also on the list for the night were two very vocal Barred Owls and several flocks of Snow Geese flying overhead.