Sunday, October 23, 2011
What is especially eye-opening to me about this particular banding site is the seemingly commonplace habitat. Two lengthy net runs are strung through young deciduous woods and brushy successional habitat, no different than can be found in scores of other sites in this region. Yet Kelly and crew have caught something on the order of 300 owls here. Northern Saw-whet Owls are, perhaps, the most common avian predator in the boreal forest, but until this work began no one had any idea that so many migrant owls passed through Ohio.
Saw-whet Owls are incredibly mellow, and rarely protest the indignities foisted upon them in the name of science. Occasionally one will make its displeasure known by clacking its billl loudly, but ordinarily the owl will just stare curiously at the offending parties.