And I’m glad I was!  While our night crew didn’t get any Northern Saw-whet Owls on Thursday evening, they did get one very large, very impressive visitor:

Great Horned Owl.

Great Horned Owl.

This awesome bird was caught in one of our field nets.  Although we aren’t officially able to call the sex, we believe it was a male based on the relatively small size – only 1300 grams with a wing of 344mm, compared to the one Dave Mathiason banded last spring which weighed around 1800 grams and had a wing of 380mm.  This bird was quite dark overall, and the clear molt limits in his wing allowed us to age him as an After-Second-Year bird.

Molt limit in the wing.  Notice the replaced secondaries, which appear darker overall.  You can also see contrasts in the secondary coverts.

Molt limit in the wing. Notice the replaced secondaries, which appear darker overall. You can also see contrasts in the secondary coverts.