Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A Return to the A.R.C.

On fairly short notice, I got a call that Richard and Christine were being summoned to the Avian Reconditioning Center in Apopka. Seemed there were a few owls to band before release which was going to be that evening. It was a Wednesday morning. I would have to be late for work. What's a poor boy to do?

Band owls, that's what! Like I get that opportunity sitting at a desk. Easy call.

I first wrote about the ARC in my very first post nearly a year ago. It is a wonderful organization that takes care of injured or orphaned raptors and releases them back into the wild if they are able to recover. You can find a direct link to their site over at the earlier post linked in this paragraph.

This time they had 5 Barn Owls and a few Screech Owls that were bound for freedom that night. Turns out that the Barn Owls were going to be used in the war on an exploding mouse population currently plaguing the Apopka region. The mice were reaching overwhelming numbers in the rural farming lands just as they did in 1999.

So, these 5 young birds were going to be released nearby in hopes that they would have very healthy appetites.

In a light but steady rain, Scott and Carol McCorkle started bring the owls over to a dry space where the birds could be weighed and banded one by one.

Barn Owls

Richard started banding right away and the procedure went fairly quickly almost in a an assembly line fashion.

Barn Owls

Sometimes the owls were nervous. Sometimes they seemed rather relaxed.

Barn Owls

Once the Barn Owls were all taken care, the Screech Owls were brought out. Richard even asked me if I wanted to have a try. Duh! Got to band my first Screech Owl today.

Screech Owls

How cool is that?

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