Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Join Whitefish Point Bird Observatory Fall Owl Banding

Thursday, September 15, fall owl banding will resume at Whitefish Point and continue nightly, weather permitting, through October 31. Information about owl banding is posted regularly by this season's crew at wpbo.org under the owl banding blog. 

Rich Keith, Director of the Kalamazoo Valley Bird Observatory,, states that WPBO has one of the longest running sets of avian monitoring data in the Great Lakes. Their summer owl banding program is unique in the world; while others have tried to find a place where numbers of owls can be monitored in summer; no one else has found such an area. 
Snowy Owl

A quick Internet search on “Owl Banding” yields information about Wolf Ridge Owl Banding from the McHenry Audubon, Snowy Owl banding in Barrow Alaska, and the Three Rivers Park District (a Minnesota event).  Whitefish Point Bird Observatory just north of Paradise, Michigan in the Upper Peninsula, currently under the administration and support of the Michigan Audubon identifies this region of Whitefish Point has a primary North American bird migration corridor in spring and summer.  Before the long journey across Lake Superior, the birds take advantage of the region's rich natural habitat to rest and replenish.

Northern Saw Whet Owl
The USGS.gov website is owned by the U.S. Geological Survey and includes a lot of information about bird banding and the data that is used both in research and management projects.  According to the site the individual identification of bird species makes it possible to study dispersal and migration, behavior and social structure, life-span and survival rate, reproductive success and population growth.  The North American Bird Banding Program is jointly administered by the United States Geological Survey and the Canadian Wildlife Service dating back to 1923.  Should you find a bird with a band and wish to learn more about the band, this site also offers a means to report the band.

Experience the process of learning more about owls and encourage people to do the same.  Share this information and these resources with your family and friends.  Don't forget that you too, can support these efforts through your financial gifts, just visit www.wpbo.org.

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