Owl researchers all get a little punchy by the end of the season -- too many late night and not enough sleep. So I wasn't really unprepared for the email the other day, telling me the crew manning Hidden Valley for the final night of the season had banded an unusual bird.
I'll say. Corky and Mary Ann Hanzok had brought the, um, new species, and bander George Gress gamely processed it, complete with leg band and eye color chart (neither quite regulation, but we'll let it pass...it's the end of the season, after all).
Reminded me of the year, back in the late '90s, when we inadvertently snagged a nearly four-foot-long black-morph timber rattler in the nets one balmy early season night. Later that year, Gary and Sandy Lockerman publicly presented me with a jumbo lock-on band for the next rattler I caught, as well as a four-foot long (by four-inch-wide) holding bag for it.