Sunday, May 24, 2009
Great Gray Day
Yesterday, my family took our annual daytrip to the Winema National Forest, where we monitor several nests of Great Gray Owls (Strix nebulosa), banding babies when found. This year, 4 of the 7 nests we checked were active, and we banded 3 young (shown above) at the first and 2 at the second.
I didn't have to do any of the climbing this year, and it was Jasper who felt the wrath--and the talons--of the defensive female at the second nest. After we banded them, Nate volunteered to take them back up to the nest, but he was spared any bloodshed or bruises when I caught the big female (below).
The third nest had just a single nestling, too young to band yet. And at the last nest we checked, the female was still incubating her three eggs, one of which was hatching at the time! (see below) It was a great day (no one was carried off by the ubiquitous mosquitos), and we'll long remember this year's trip.