As we continue our fall monitoring or NSWO, one other exciting thing about being on the Reserve are the numbers of different species we might detect aurally or visually. Lately the Northern Pygmy Owls (NOPO), a mostly crepuscular/diurnal species has been calling from the trees above our saw-whet nets.
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Monday, October 19, 2015
I'll admit we are a pretty low-tech program, except for the Steve King inventions and modifications. Once again he pulls through with a beneficial addition to our station, this time, a louder broadcast caller to attract owls. Previously our "sound system" was boombox like this, using a CD of NSWO calls.
But now with the Mega Tooter, we can up our decibels and perhaps attract more owls to our station, using and Ipod with owl calls and a rechargeable battery.
This follows the Project OWLNET protocol better than we have in the past and increasing the volume was a suggestion by an OWLNET co-founder. So is this what is making our now 16 owl season a success, or is it just a good year for saw-whets? Hard to say, but as the season continues perhaps we will have a better guess. Stay tuned!
|For the past 9 years of data collection, our broadcaster.|
|The Mega Tooter, designed by Steve King|
There is something about children and owls. Owls are magical and children connect to that. Isabel came up with her mom and dad Jamie and Jason to learn about our owl research. Jamie the Reserves manager effectively helped promote our continued monitoring of the most adorable owl, the northern saw-whet (NSWO).
|Crystal (the owl), Jason, Isabel, and Jamie|
|Isabel looks on as we read the band number, which identifies|
the owl as an individual. In addition to a number, Isabel thought it
was appropriate to give her a name - Crystal
Friday, October 16, 2015
An interesting evening weather-wise and detection-wise. We started the night under clouds and warmth had one NSWO and one Pallid Bat (Antrozous pallidus) capture on our first net check. And bats are so cool! The Pallid bat flies low to eat insects on the ground, which is why we frequently catch them in our nets, but only at the beginning of the season. Pallids use their big ears to detect prey and often turn their sonar off. That is why they sometime don't detect the net, but once they know the nets are there, they turn on the sonar to avoid capture.
It was quiet and still after that, until the clouds parted, stars and cooler temps appeared and then came the owls. Saw-whets, screech and great horned began to call and we banded three more owls near the end of our night. Weather likely made a difference. Thanks Sheila Frisk, Julie Newman, Wyatt Hersey and Steve King!
|A Pallid Bat, note large ears, eyes and teeth for capturing|
ground-dwelling insects. Pallid bats often emit a musky odor
when disturbed, a good protection from predators- think skunk.
This is a web photo.
Monday, October 12, 2015
It most certainly was an owl night! We (Dawn, Steve, Ken and Wyatt) started out the evening with detections of Northern Pygmy Owl as we were setting up nets. Then we heard a Barn Owl fly over the meadow, followed by Western Screech Owl, Northern Saw-whet and Great Horned Owl calling from the forest. Biggest surprise.....wait for it..... scroll......
.... a Spotted Owl! Yes, near the nets were heard the contact call of a Spotty: http://www.owlpages.com/sounds/Strix-occidentalis-2.mp3, very unusual but not the first record. We discovered one (heard first giving the same vocalization) in 2012 while tracking radio-marked saw-whets on the Reserve. A great detection and a great night! Banded and released 5 NSWO and 1 WESO. Thanks banders!
|1st of fall 2015 NSWO, then 4 more!!|
|New to the team Wyatt Hersey with NSWO|
and he also designed his cool t-shirt graphic