01 April 2010

Owl Trapping with Denver Holt

The following incredible pictures were taken by UM graduate student Tom Rogers on a recent outing with Denver Holt.  The field trip was part of the University of Montana's Avian Field Techniques course taught by Professor Dick Hutto and two graduate students.

The group spent the day trapping long-eared owls as part of Denver's long-term study monitoring owl numbers in Western Montana.  The team used a misty net for capture, walking up and down the woody draw to flush the owls into the net.  Trained handlers were in charge of processing the birds: taking their wing cord, mass and sex estimate (based on feather patterns).  After this information was collected, the owls were released safely back into the wild.

Long-eared owls have an average wingspan of 86-98 cms

This is an owl ear, believe it or not!

Tom also reported the team saw a Great Horned Owl nesting in the draw.  So cool!  For more information on Denver Holt and his research, visit the Owl Research Institute here.

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