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Monday, October 15, 2007

Owl Banding

(photo: Meera Subramanian)

Saturday night my wife and I took the kids out to Scott Weidensaul's Saw Whet Owl banding station at Hidden Valley in Schuylkill County. What a great night. My kids got to help release thee of the five owls we banded that evening. One owl sat on my three year old's outstretched arm for five minutes before flying off into the darkness. We got to hear the owl's heartbeat--a quick whirring like the purring of a cat. I also got to hear some Saw Whet calls that aren't on most of the commercially available owl tapes, and see a Saw Whet in a tree near the nets. We didn't get back home until 2am, and were exhausted the next day, but it was a night we'll remember for a long, long time.

For more about the owl banding project you can click here, and you can even adopt a Saw Whet Owl by clicking here.


Anonymous said...

What a great experience for the kids. Owl banding sounds so cool I'm going to put it on my to-do list of things I want to participate in, in the next few years.

John said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John said...

My favorite Saw-whet call that's not usually on commercial tapes is a rising shriek (like a scream). It's often the first sound you hear from one and precedes the regular monotonous tooting. When suddenly heard overhead on a pitch-black night it can be hair-raising!

birdchaser said...

Yeah, we heard that one. Also some chirping. Very cool.

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