November 2020 report from Dr Blake Mathys, head of the Central Ohio Owl Project. Columbus Audubon is proud to sponsor this avian research project.
After running into some equipment issues, I’m back up and running with Northern Saw-whet Owl banding. I had a very successful weekend on November 7 – 8, catching 3 on Friday night, and 2 each the last two nights. That brings me up to nine saw-whets and one Eastern Screech-owl banded, plus one saw-whet that was already banded (which I caught on October 24th). I recently found out it was originally banded on September 14th at Hilliardton Marsh Research and Education Centre in Ontario. It’s a straight-line distance of about 540 miles; the owl was a hatch-year female, and was the first foreign recapture in Ohio this fall (there have now been a total of 8 foreign recaptures in Ohio so far this fall).
We are working on ways to accommodate visitors during the banding sessions, of course with small numbers and appropriate social distancing. The banding season runs for about another month, and of course there is no guarantee of catching any owls on a specific night, and any night’s banding might need to be canceled due to weather. Our banding site is approximately a one-hour drive from Columbus, so is accessible for many Columbus Audubon members. Stay tuned!
For more information about the Owl Project, see the project page at the Ohio Dominican University website.