Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Wet Night

A powerful storm took its time leaving the midstate Saturday, delaying the opening of King's Gap and Small Valley, and canceling banding entirely farther east at Hidden Valley. Nevertheless, we banded one saw-whet at Small Valley and two more at King's Gap, including a second-year female fitted with a radio transmitter. Since she sat hunched in the hand, the crew named her Quasimodo -- "Quasi" for short.

Earlier in the day, research tech Anna Fasoli looked in vain in the downpours for Fairfield, the owl with a liking for laurel tangles. It may be that she's just hidden in some hollow that deflected the radio signals, but it's more likely she left in advance of the storm. Anna was able to locate Autumn, still about a mile and a half southwest of King's Gap in Michaux State Forest.

We're gearing up for three back-to-back nights of triangulation telemetry, which will be challenge with the forecast of high winds tonight, and sharply colder temps the rest of the week. There's also a chance that the cold front might prompt one or both of our remaining tagged owls to leave -- we'll just have to see what happens. Banders Karl Kleiner and Susan Klugman plan to celebrate their wedding anniversary today by roost-tracking both owls, then tonight, Anna and intern Drew Weber will try to follow one of the saw-whets.

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