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DVOC Field Trip Report
by Debbie Beer

November 5, 2011
Saw-whet Owl Banding at Hidden Valley, PA

Leader: Debbie Beer

DVOC carried on it's enthusiastic support of Scott Weidensaul's Saw-whet Owl research on November 5th, when 14 people drove up to Hidden Valley for our annual banding trip. As Scott predicted, this is a low year for saw-whets, and the catch numbers were dismally low in previous weeks. However, things were picking up just in time for the DVOC trip, during the peak of Saw-whet Owl migration, and we hoped for at least one bird to entertain us. Fortunately, the fates aligned to produce 2 birds on the 9pm net check - the only 2 for Hidden Valley that night. We crowded around the table and weren't shy with our comments and questions. Bander and DVOC member Deborah Danila, sister of DVOC member Connie Goldman, was very warm and friendly, and did a great job sharing the experience with us. Young interns Ben, Jimmy and Brant were equally cheerful and helpful. Ben energetically narrated while Deborah banded, and volunteered lots of personal information about his high school internship with the banding project - he has a bright future in ornithology ahead of him! Both owls were adopted by DVOC members, then released back into the wild to continue their fascinating and elusive lives. We look forward to next year's banding trip, which Scott predicts will hold a lot more owls!