t was a quality over quantity kind of season for banding Northern Saw-whet Owls this fall. While banders in North and South Dakota caught fewer owls per night, they recovered a total of 10 owls, or birds banded at another station or during a different season. Where were the owls first banded, and when? Read this post to find out (hint: one was first banded more than 1,300 miles east!).
What a great banding season at Barr Lake State Park! It seems like only yesterday that bird bander Meredith McBurney and educator Emily Snode kicked off the season in August, banding 50 birds with only four of our 21 nets open. In retrospect, this proved to be an omen of the sensational fall migration that was to come.
Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory has been running bird banding stations in the Nebraska panhandle for the past four years at Chadron State Park and five years at Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area. We set up nets in the same locations year after year in order to study the local and migratory bird populations and to provide up-close and personal looks at birds to schoolchildren and members of the general public. This year, all is well at the Wildcat Hills station, but things were looking very grim for Chadron State Park at the beginning of the banding season.
More than 100 guests gathered at the bird banding station at Chatfield State Park on the evening of May 4 for the opening of a new pavilion that will serve as an outdoor classroom where school groups and others can enjoy seeing and hearing about birds, banding and conservation.