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.