But now, because we have installed tiny radio transmitters on the owls (3 grams total, less than 3% of the birds body weight-see picture above that includes radio and harness material), we are able to track them to their actual locations! Julie will collect 2 years of data and then publish her results, brand new information for our region- and wonderful to better understand the ecology of our population of owls! So far we have found owls roosting on the ground like this bird,
some a few feet off the ground, and many way up in a tree- up to 85 feet, so all we see is a feathery ball, like in the picture (the bird is within the red circle).
We always like to get a good look if possible to check the condition of them and make sure their harness is fitting well. The harness will come off in about 3 months- the same time as the life of the radio battery. Most of the birds sit in good cover to protect themselves from diurnal predators like Cooper's Hawks. We got a really nice look at this bird who has had her transmitter on for 8 weeks.
Julie has been great about creating maps of the bird's locations, like this one. Here you can see a map with 4 different roost locations of one bird who was banded at the Reserve and then moved
down into Bidwell Park.