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Wednesday, January 30 • 10:40am - 10:50am
(WILDLIFE: LIGHTNING TALK) Habitat Use of Migrating Northern Saw-whet Owls in Delaware and Henry Counties, Indiana

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AUTHORS: Kaitlin Gavenda, Kamal Islam, Clayton Delancey – Ball State University

ABSTRACT: This study aims to test if Northern Saw-whet Owls (Aegolius acadicus) exhibit a preference between two potential habitat types in Indiana, an old growth deciduous forest and a Christmas tree farm, during migration. Previous studies have documented the use of old growth deciduous forest. Christmas tree farms contain the coniferous trees preferred by these owls in their breeding habitat; however, it is an artificial environment that may not contain the cover that Northern Saw-whet Owls favor. This study examines if there are any differences in capture rates between these two habitat types based on season and gender. Two mist-netting stations have been established to monitor fall and spring migration periods: one at Ginn Woods (Ball State University property) in Delaware County, and the other at Whitetail Tree Farm in Henry County, both in Indiana. Each station uses six mist-nets: a line of four nets, with one net on either side of the middle to form a cross. A recording of a Northern Saw-whet Owl call is played at the center of the cross to increase owl capture rates. During last year’s banding, we caught 10 owls at Ginn Woods and 10 owls at Whitetail Tree Farm during the fall, and two more owls at Whitetail Tree Farm during the spring. Of these owls, 9 were hatch year, 6 were second year, and 5 were after second year. Only one male and one unknown sex were captured. We also had two foreign recaptures, one banded in Ontario, 2016, and one banded in Quebec, 2017. Analysis of fall 2018 migration captures will also be included.

Wednesday January 30, 2019 10:40am - 10:50am

Attendees (2)