In the last week, I was fortunate to be apart of two class field trips. For the first, my Mammalogy class took a trip to Camp Rotans, a small property of land only a mile or two away from the Ohio University campus. There, we captured two Southern flying squirrels (Glaucomys volans).
Southern flying squirrel (Glaucomys volans). Two species of flying squirrels live in North America. Unlike their diurnal tree squirrel cousins, flying squirrels are nocturnal. Hence, they have large eyes.
While hiking around checking the boxes, a did a bit of birding:
Evidence of another woodpecker, the Pileated Woodpecker. According to my prof, Pileateds drill ovular holes, while other member of the Order Piciformes drill circular ones.
I haven't figured out the ID on this one, yet... Any thoughts?
On Saturday, October 30, our Ornithology class headed out to Buzzard's Roost, near Chilicothe, Ohio to help Dr. Miles student with some bird banding. We arrived at around 5:00 PM to an overcast sky and temps sitting around 61 degrees F. First we set up mist nets along three trails.
Mika spreading a mist net out. Birds have a difficult time seeing these nets and fly into them. When this happens, we extricate the birds, take some measurements, and let the Master Bander do her thing.
After a little bit of down time, the nets started to produce. One stretch quickly nabbed three Tufted Titmice. While we were busy pulling two of them off, I looked up to a wild sight. Further down the net, a Sharp-shinned Hawk was attempting to get an easy meal out of the third Titmouse. Unfortunately for the hawk, it became entangled also and was not able to get away with the Titmouse. Dr. Miles quickly grabbed it from the net.
Doc holding the hawk.
The banding station.
Hermit Thrush. We ending up with four Tufted Titmice, two Northern Cardinals, and one American Goldfinch in addition to the Hermit Thrush and SSHawk. After taking measurements, banding, and releasing the birds, we took a break to wolf down some delicious chili that the good Doc cooked up for us. Bravo.
Dr. Miles student, Kelley, had turned on some recordings of Saw-whet Owls near the nets. We proceeded to check the nets every 45 minutes or so.
Unfortunately, we didn't net any owls, but we did enjoy a beautiful night. We left around 11 PM. Ironically, a Barred Owl flew in front of our van on the way home.....