Monday, March 23, 2009

When Rawge Met Athene

Roger "Rawge" Jones and Chris Conard are biologists working for Sacramento County at their Bufferlands facility. Rawge and Chris heard of me through my involvement at the time with The Wildlife Society's listserver, and they contacted me to see if I could tag some burrowing owls at their facility with color bands to help them monitor the local population. They bought the bands and bought me a new pair of binoculars, and I spent a day trapping adults and banding baby burrowing owls for them. This photo shows Rawge with the first owl he ever handled. I think Rawge was a little bit intimidated by the talons at first, but he settled down quickly and handled the bird very well. I think I heard later from Jack Barclay that one of the juveniles we banded that day was ultimately discovered by another burrowing owl biologist who read the band at a location miles away, having made a nice post-juvenal dispersal movement. And that is what color (vid) bands are for!
And the past few years I get two fabulous Bufferlands wall calendars with fantastic wildlife photos; one is sent by Rawge and one is sent by Chris. What a deal!
Note: this photo and all other photos on the blog can be enlarged by clicking on them to get more detail.
Stan Moore

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