Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Saw-whet Owls invade Crawford Park

It is a rare opportunity to see a Saw-whet Owl, but even rarer to see several up close and personal! What a pleasure to take part in Lowe-Volk Park's Owl banding program with one of my favorite friends, Bob Scott Placier!

Bob was able to net 3 owls at the Crawford County Park District last night, and collecting data on micro-owls has taught us a lot about the "cute" little visitors from the north. Saw-whets are found mostly in Canada during breeding, but some disperse south for the winter. Mostly, females (80%) are found in Ohio during the winter, and last night Bob banded 2 females and one male.

What a cool opportunity for the Junior Naturalists (J.Nats) from Ohio Bird Sanctuary to learn about the birds! They assisted Bob by carrying the bird, safely contained in a laundry bag, into the warm building.

Bob gathered all the data, sex, age, weight... and placed a numbered band on the bird. Saw-whets seem to be re-captured rather frequently, which allows us to understand their winter migrations better. These owls of the boreal forest may have never seen "people" before; they remain relaxed, and do not show signs of being stressed.

Saw-whets make the perfect ambassadors for the birding world. Maggie and Kaily will never forget this night and their big chance to touch an owl!

It seems the owl is enjoying it almost as much as the girls!
Thanks to Crawford County Park District for this wonderful program, presented by Bob Scott Placier. And a special "Heya" goes out to Jan Ferrell and the "Jr. Nats" from Ohio Bird Sanctuary. It was a pleasure to meet this group of teenagers interested in our natural world. They are our future!


  1. Great post. That last photo slays me.

  2. Thanks Cheryl...It was a great night and your pics have captured the fact that learning can be fun! :-)

  3. It was a pleasure to see these kids enjoying and learning about Saw-whets!