Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What is a OWL BIG NIGHT!?

Well truly it depends on your location, because other stations have posted some incredible numbers (I will post about these later). For us at the BCCER we just had a BIG owl night on October 25, when a whopping 9 saw-whets were banded and released. Nice work Raina and Steve (with Steve's mom and saw-whet in photo below- the three Kings :)
This wasn't the biggest BIG night for us though - previous happenings occurred during our first year in 2005, on October 29th when 10 owls were captured and and again on November 4th 2007 when we banded 12 new owls and had 2 recaptures. Big owl nights are very exciting for us as it holds promise of a good year for owls. We always speculate on the event though, and typically fall to weather conditions like a high pressure system, waning-to-no-moon,and clear skies. These evenings are usually beautiful for star-gazing too and often accompanied by sounds of migrating geese and swans.
It could also be timing; being out on the right night when the the owls are flying through or have stopped on the Reserve to rest. But we can't know this unless we are out every night-all night during the migration period October 15-November 15. As of October 25th we are up to 34 owls for the season!
Following are the results:

Date: October 25, 2011
Weather clear: skies, gusty winds, 59*F
Net hours: 22.5
Banders/guests: Raina and Steve King, guests Kurt Geiger and children Maddie and Carter
Owls captured: 9 NSWO
Owls detected: NSWO throughout the night after the first hour

Thanks Steve King for photos.

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