Friday, December 5, 2008

Sacagawea and Andromeda

The news over the past week has been mixed, with tracking limited by the holiday and the opening of rifle deer season. On Nov. 28, Karl Kleiner and one of his students tracked down Andromeda, which they found perched in a cluster of young pines at Cold Spring Gap, with a spectacular view over South Mountain.
The view over Cold Spring Gap (©Karl Kleiner)

Andromeda plays "if I can't see you, you can't see me." (©Karl Kleiner)

After that, though, Andromeda vanished on us - but on Dec. 2, Aura Stauffer caught a whisper of a beep from Sacagawea's radio, a bird we'd last encountered on Nov. 20. She had a hard time localizing the weak signal, as did Anna Fasoli the next day, but on Thursday, Aura tracked down the transmitter - which was no longer attached to an owl. Sacagawea had picked off the harness - something we design the harnesses to eventually permit, but which we wouldn't happen quite so quickly.

The King's Gap banding crew has tried this past week to catch additional owls for the telemetry project, but the well appears pretty dry, and they've had little to do but watch the ever-growing mob of flying squirrels (now up to five) that feast nightly on the sunflower seed stored in the KG basement. After this weekend we'll suspend regular banding there, although we may try one more blitz next week to get a last owl or two.

I did manage to catch a second long-eared owl in my yard nets in Schuylkill County last week, as well as a local gray-morph screech-owl Wednesday night.


Susan said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Kodak the Eskie said...

Great blog, I love owls!