We are up to 18 owls with our last 2 captures occurring on November 7, 2013. Last night the J. Shaw team captured a lone, but previously banded Western Screech Owl, making our total WESO captures at 7. It seems there are almost as many screech owls as saw-whets this year. On the 7th, my crew had a male tooting in competition with our boom box for a solid hour before he finally had to go check out the stud in the woods (our boombox), and we captured him. He looks pretty tough- doesn't he?
Male NSWO weighting in at a whopping 74 grams.
When the owls are few and far between during our 30 minute net runs, we have plenty of time to contemplate other things like the nocturnal habits of deer, P. chorus frogs and bats, gazing at shooting stars and constellations, listening for owls, migrating geese and bugs. Bug finding can be entertaining. These Jerusalem Crickets sometimes cross our path.
They are about 2 inches long, and have a very shiny, nicely striped and squishy abdomen. Apparently they are quite the percussionists too. Check out this link to hear them drum with their abdomens. One never knows what the night will bring!