For a decade local birders have banded migrating Northern Saw-whet Owls at the 
banding station in my yard known as Hammond Hill Owls or HHOWLS. This is one of 
my greatest pleasures. We have caught, weighed, measured and banded over 1000 
owls, including ~30 previously banded owls, thereby, contributing to our 
knowledge about owl survival and migration. The people who come out to go 
banding are wonderful, interesting company, with a shared interest in birds, 
wildlife, and science. I feel that going out in the dark at night and finding 
an owl in the net is like Christmas morning and finding a wonderful present in 
your stocking. 

Previously, I have been glad to welcome large numbers of visitors to watch and 
share in the banding. However, the concern for covid and my increasingly tired, 
old bones are compatible only with a smaller number of volunteers. Accordingly, 
this year Phil MacNeil and Maddie Ulinski are going to organize the banding as 
part of an effort to help me.

We are looking for a small group to form a banding core. We band from between 1 
Oct and ~19 Nov, about 50 days. But, we only band on about ¼ of those nights 
when weather is very favorable. Volunteers agree to come on certain night(s) of 
the week. But it is not possible to predict how many. For example, if you chose 
Weds., it is possible that there will be perhaps nearly 7 nights with favorable 
weather, or perhaps nearly none.  
If this sounds as exciting to you, as it is to us, contact Phil by email at 
John Confer 607-539-6308


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