Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Logistics of banding and tracking

Yes, it is very exciting to have a NSWO in the hand and also to see one in the wild, like this one! And it isn't easy. Both federal and state permits are required to capture and band birds, and install telemetry. I have these permits only after a lot of training and a project that has scientific merit. My training consists of 16 years of banding, several banding workshops and meetings, and most recently a training session to install telemetry. I met with NSWO researcher, author and conservationist, Scott Weidensaul who has conducted telemetry and geolocator studies in Pennsylvania supported by the Ned Smith Center for several years. Here I learned a safe and efficient way of making a harness that will "break away," after about 3 months, leaving the owl without its backpack or radio, and giving us about 3 months of information regarding roost locations and movement of our owls. (I took this photo of "Dos," she is one of our radioed owls).

And that is our study of scientific merit. You will note that so little is known about the NSWO in the Pacific States, that our banding and telemetry studies will help us better understand the ecology of the NSWO in this region- new and exciting stuff (and necessary knowledge for conservation measures)! This picture shows two dedicated volunteers (Raina King and Colleen Martin) banding and taking measurements of the a NSWO (photo by Steve King) during our fall monitoring project.

See the previous post for a pic of the harness and radio and a map of one of our owls movements to Bidwell Park. And don't forget to go to the Adopt -an-Owl tab, to become a guardian of one of our banded and released (and adorable) owls!

1 comment:

  1. Scott W's book Living on the Wind is one I'm reading right now.
    I second Mel's comment, great work all of you!
    - The Equestrian Vagabond