Monday, April 29, 2013

The Real Banding of the Owlets

On April 28, 2013, our friends Sue Fletcher (who's starting to handle Alice the Great Horned Owl for educational programs) and Dave Noble (master falconer) came over to assist us with banding the owlets.  The owlets were FIESTY, especially the girls, and especially the oldest.  Watch her hiss and nip at me in the video when I band her.

The owlets were HUGE compared to last time, and little #3 now outweighs her brother by a good margin.  The boy was noticeably whiter on the head than the girls, and the youngest girl has dark markings on her head.

In addition to banding the owlets were weighed and feathers and beaks measured.

Before we put them back into the aviary we did a little maintenance: we put in the bath pans for the season and filled them and added a slanted, Astroturf-covered ramp for the owlets to climb back back up to the nest as they learn to fly.  The ramp came in handy right away, as one of the owlets jumped shipped as I was trying to catch them, and then again later after I replaced the owlets.  She figured out the ramp right away, so we must have done it right!  Later on brother tried it out too.

The females were banded on their right legs and the male on his left leg.  The bands are yellow zip-ties, but with all the feathers on their legs and their fluffy bloomers, odds are remote that you will see them.


  1. Great video, Karla, thanks. It looked like you really enjoyed handling your kids!

  2. This was so enjoyable to watch! You and your helpers did an amazing job in handling those huge and precious owlets! Thank you for sharing this. I loved it!

  3. Nice to see this banding! It might be helpful to mention, and I'm assuming this was how it was done since Dave helped you with the bending ~and he trained me~, that there is an extra piece of tubing over the zip ties that cushion the band, and prevent them from tightening too tight. This is just in case anyone sees the procedure and worried about them zipping too tight. Fiesty little cusses are they! Good!!

  4. I am so glad you filmed this. How amazing to see them and the interactions you all had--Thank you

  5. Very nice video enjoyed seeing the outside of the pen also

  6. This was fantastic to see!! Thank you Karla, and all for making this possible to view! Wow what a thing... You do such great work and service to help us all learn more and more about these beautiful beings!! Thank you!
    Blessings, Capesongbird

  7. Thank you so much for posting this, it was wonderful to watch. And it is always good to learn the technical language used by scientists, such as "their fluffy bloomers" :)