Wednesday, April 02, 2008

All the cool kids are doing it

Did you like that last post?

Today, we all went out and banded at two different parks: Lake Isabella and Winton Woods. You may remember my anal-retentive checking of the Lake Isabella nest. This is not a RAPTOR project...I think it might be an ODNR thing. Or just a banding thing done by banders...I don't fully understand all the banding relationships. Someone explain it to me.

Lake Isabella had one lone chick in the nest...and that's okay. Just makes it easier for the parents to feed one mouth instead of 2 or 3.

Jeff Lake Isabella in  tree
Jeff with chick

And how do they get the chick down without Jeff climbing down?
In a chick bag:
Chick bag

GHOW chick Lake Isabella banding
GHOW chick getting a new piece of jewelry

Lake Isabella GHOW chick close

GHOW chicks are Joe Pesci.
L Isabella GHOW chick super close

Check out this foot....that will someday be used to catch and kill things like small and medium mammals (mice, rats, skunks, cats, etc), small and medium reptiles and amphibians (snakes, frogs, toads, lizards) and birds of prey (like screech owls, barred owls and red-shouldered hawks). As Owlman commented, "You must respect the GHOW."
As I like to say in my programs, "A great horned owl will eat anything it can carry....but nothing eats great horned owls."
Lake Isabella GHOW chick foot
This chick is only 3, maybe 4 weeks old. And the feet are that huge. R E S P E C T .

Though there were no mallards, cardinals or RSHA in the nest, Jeff did find a rabbit leg:
Unlucky rabbits foot
That is NOT a lucky rabbit's foot.

When it was Isabelle's turn to hold the chick, she got a little nervous because the chick decided to mantle:
Isabelle and GHOW chick

The next park was Winton Woods. This nest looks out over the golf course, and I smile to think about all those men walking around in ugly pants, whacking a small ball around and having no idea that one of the fiercest avian predators is having children in the woods.
Winton Woods banding

You know, I have saturated the girls so much with all this bird stuff, they are almost blase about it now.
Girls and GHOW chick

This is Katherine (Jeff, is it Catherine or Katherine?), Jeff's oldest daughter. Can you imagine how these kids are going to grow up into adults, having done this with their dad all the time?
Katherine GHOW chick

In the nest, Jeff found a skull (squirrel?) and I had to get a picture of Katherine holding it.
I said, "Okay, Katherine. Give me a big Squirrel Skull Smile!"
And she just beamed. What a cute kid.
Katherine Skull Smile

Winton GHOW band chick 1


Anonymous said...

Wowdewowdewow! That's one cool birding experience!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Sure wish I was one of those cool kids that got to help with the Owl banding. Aren't those fuzzballs the cutest things!

nina said...

That last picture is a great "owl-look."
Even with the fuzzy head, there's a very recognizable predator behind those eyes!

The Swami said...

A chick bag? Huh. Is that anything like a bucket of chicken? Is it more economical to get it by the bag?

What is "mantle?" When the wings are spread?

Mel said...

That's so cool! I wish I could go somewhere close to home to be able to see something like that!
Lucky guys you are!

dguzman said...

I wish you were my mom so I could see all this stuff! I don't each much, honest!

RuthieJ said...

What fun for those little girls! That owlet mantling on poor Isabelle's legs is so darn cute--it's hard to take that fierceness seriously with that much fluffiness!

Anonymous said...

Awesome chicks! They're all mouth and feet aren't they? It's fantastic to see them doing well and succeeding in their nest. Still waiting on Screech Owl action over here at the Twelve Acres, but Oscar is visible in the nest box regularly and I am finding oodles of owl pellets (large and small) all over the place.

Elaine @ floridabirder said...

What lucky kids! They are so darn lucky! I am 62 years old and still haven't seen even one GHO in the wild. Sometimes I could just cry.

It's a wonderful thing that you and Geoff and your cohorts all are teaching them, and their smiles are precious. Maybe the planet and our wildlife have a chance after all. :)