3/12/2008

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Spring Owl Migration

Northern Saw-whet Owls have begun their northward migration to northern forests this year. The thick pack of ice and snow at Tommy Thompson Park has made travel difficult for anyone on foot. However we soldiered out to TTPBRS late last week to do some owling and were rewarded with a particularly heavy male Northern Saw-whet (fat score of 6 on a scale of 0-7!). Barred Owl and Great Horned Owl were also encountered (but not captured) during the evening. Net checking was an adventure with the uneven and slippery terrain but it should melt away soon....

The Spring Migration Monitoring Program is less than 3 weeks away now and I suspect that I can speak for the entire TTPBRS crew in saying that the change from indoor to outdoor living will be appreciated!

Recovery Alert

One of our Northern Saw-whet Owls banded in late October, 2007 was recently found dead somewhere on the University of Toronto campus in February, 2008. This recovery is the first record of one of "our" owls overwintering in Toronto. It is also interesting that one of these owls would move to the interior of the city from the lake shore. A telemetry study of owl dispersal in Toronto would be a fascinating study.