Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Having handled over 200 Northern Saw-whet Owls now, you can definetly see that each bird is an individual just in their look. Take a look for yourself.
Friday, October 5, 2007
In general, Saw-whet migration runs from the third week of September to the end of October. During this time the peak appears to be around the second week of October. To give you an idea of the magnitude of the migration, last year, the five station in Sask caught and banded over 500 Saw-whets during this period.
We record wing chord.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Monday, September 3, 2007
Within the last 30 years Turkey Vultures have been become increasingly common here in Saskatchewan. Normally this species nests in natural caves. You can imagine how many natural caves there are in the prairies.... Today, Turkey Vultures are learning and adapting to fit into the modern day prairie ecosystem. Instead of only using natural caves they are now using old abandoned buildings to nest in, like this one.
I had a busy summer with all sorts of other banding experiences. I helped release the young Burrowing Owls that were raised at the Centre. We released 24 of these cute little guys. However, with a mortality rate of 95-98% in their first year of life, we are not contributing a large number of birds into the breeding population, and this is why we do not consider ourselves a breeding facility.
One of the other fun things I got to tag along for was a trip to the Reed Lake Pelican and Cormorant colony, with Dr. Chris Somers' research team. We colour banded some American White Pelicans and Double-crested Cormorants. I had never banded these guys before, but we caught the pelicans much like we round up geese. The birds were quite large, but not able to fly quite yet. It was amazing to be out on the island, but man did it stink!!!
These two trips were just two of the fun things I got to be part of this summer. There is more to follow, including my own Ferruginous Hawk banding, Great Horned Owls, and also some Turkey Vulture tagging that I got to see.