For those of you who have read my blog since last year know that I am involved in Trent University's owl banding program. Every year at the James Oliver Ecology Centre, near Bobcaygeon, banders come to this site nightly and see what we can catch. This year, we have added a new site to our banding list (it'll be referred to as the Sisson Property).
|Banding a Screech Owl at the Sisson Property|
|Using a Blacklight to determine age (AHY)|
This second photo, we are not using a black light. However, if you look closely you can see that feathers at the beginning and at the end of the wing are a slightly darker colour than those in the middle. This means that they are newer feathers! Being in this placement means this lovely lady was a second year bird.
|Aging a Saw-whet Owl without a blacklight (SY)|
The second owl we will likely catch some of is the Eastern Screech Owl. These little guys are populat to catch at our Sisson Property, but are not uncommon at the Oliver Centre either. Screech Owls can be coloured with either a grey morph (like the one pictured below) or in a red morph. Screech owls are larger than their Saw-whet cousins, have visible ear tufts, and also have a very cool "whirly" call.
We are really excited to be back out and catching these little guys throughout the rest of the month!!