Short-eared owl banding

Bell shaes trap
BC Trap used to catch Short-eared owls

Mon@rch and I left yesterday to go to a banding station outside of buffalo to attempt to catch Short-eared owls. The owls like to come out at dusk and they are looking for mice and other food. There are post traps, BC traps and a bow trap. The BC trap seen above has Meadow Voles in it along with some dried hay; the sound of the Voles running through the hay attracts the owls making them think it is dinner time. When the birds come down to catch the mouse they hit the top of the trap and try to fly away. The nooses get a hold of them and the get tangled in them when it goes to the nooses tighten around the owls feet

Post trap
Pole trap that the owls land on

Along with the BC traps we also used pole traps. They have the same idea with the nooses used on the BC trap. The bird fly’s to the pole to listen to the Voles ruffling around in the hay so they can pin point exactly where it is. When they try to fly the birds feet get tangled in the nooses just like the BC trap and the bird triggers a light letting the banders know that caught an owl.

Owl Mug shot!
Long-eared owl’s mug shot

We were trying to target Short-eared owls and we ended up getting an even better bird! The bird we got ended up being a Long-eared owl! It was a huge surprise because the bird is very secretive and it was least expected.

Tom with HIS Long-eared owl
mon@rch with Long-eared owl

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9 Comments

Filed under banding, birds, Nature, owls

9 responses to “Short-eared owl banding

  1. Great post and this was such a great time! So glad you had fun!

  2. Pinar

    Nice mug shot! I’m pretty sure s/he is responsible for the missing voles!

    Thanks for sharing your experience here.

  3. winterwoman

    Congratulations on your new blog! Sounds like you had as awesome an experience as I had!!! Keep up the good work (and thanks for visiting my blog.)

  4. Marg

    Love these shots-and commentary!

    congrats on your blog-love the title!

    Mon@rch doesn’t look very happy considering he’s holding a Long Eared!

  5. mon@rch-That was very fun, thank you again for taking me!
    Pinar-thank you! I did learn much from this experience to!
    winterwoman- Thank you, I do wish we could of still caught a Short-eared
    Marg-It was so cold out it was hard to move any muscles! It was blowing and snowing.

  6. Mel

    Nice post! I’m learning slowly in a big not-very-nature-friendly city and information like this is very useful.
    Please, keep blogging so I can keep learning! ;)
    Greetings from Peru!

  7. Your “Long-eared owl’s mug shot” photo just cracked me up. At first I was like, “what am I looking at…” then started laughing like a crazy. Hilarious! Great work. I love that you included the traps. How amazingly cool is that!?! Excellent work J!

  8. Mel- It takes a long time to learn stuff about birds. And you can be sure I will keep on blogging!
    aullori- I didn’t even know I took the picture until I was looking thew it and saw the picture and thought, I need to use this!

  9. Lisa at Greenbow

    Interesting seeing the contraptions that you snag owls with. It is good to see your view of the banding operation as well as other aspects of nature.

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