Showing posts from October, 2010

Adios, Lucky Peak

I'm outta here! 96 saw-whet owls, 3 flammulated owls, 1 common poorwill, 4 flying squirrels. 575 hours of trapping. 24,000 m^2 of nets raised and lowered in-total. In the last week it snowed about 6 inches and my wall tent blew away in an 80 km/hr wind. Had an excellent Halloween party courtesy of some BSU raptor biology grad students. Now I'm in Boise awaiting my flight home. Been studying migration for the last 2 months, and now I get to do some migrating of my own.

Yellowstone and Grand Tetons

I just returned from a quick trip to two beautiful national parks. I wanted to take advantage of my proximity to these places because I don't expect to return to this corner of the country any time soon. Owls are slowing down again (though i suppose they never really sped up in the first place), and my partner graciously agreed to cover for me while myself and two other field techs took a 3-day vacation from Lucky peak. We drove all night, arriving in the Tetons at about 3am. We woke to a beautiful sunrise (see below) and a dozen moose/elk browsing in the willow and sage thickets nearby. We drove casually through the park all day, admiring the stunning views and impressive animal diversity, and arrived in Yellowstone that evening (the two parks are connected by a forest corridor). We hiked about 10 miles across ridges and through canyons in each park, but most of the trip was spent necessarily inside our vehicle due to their sheer enormity and our desire to see as much as possible…

Lucky Peak, Part 3- Peregrine

Looks like the owl season is picking up. We caught 3 last night (in the rain) and 6 the night before, bringing our grand total to a grand total of 23 owls so far this season. Glenn and crew have just started trapping back in NY, and they will doubtlessly surpass our numbers by the end of the week.

     In more exciting news, I had the opportunity to catch and band a female peregrine falcon the other day. I promise this will be the last self-indulgent photo of me holding a raptor, but I think I earned it. It put on a real show, making several passes at our lure birds before winding up just barely snared in our nets. I had the pleasure/ adrenaline-inducing-experience of untangling it, hissing, biting, and kicking all along the way. Did you know that peregrine falcons hiss like snakes when they're angry? i didn't know that either. A misplaced talon can also apparently cause permanent nerve damage, though fortunately I have not experienced this firsthand.

     You may be asking, h…