Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory - Saw-Whet Owl Banding


Northern Saw-Whet Owl (Photo: David Okines)

Northern Saw-whet Owls were originally considered rare in the Prince Edward Point area. However during the years 1975-1988 the Kingston Field Naturalists (KFN) ran a program at the "Point" and captured a total of 4,875 saw-whets. From 83 to 779 owls were trapped in any one year and the KFN used up to 42 mist nets from late September to early November. The KFN did not use audio lures during those years but only ran their nets as "passive nets".

 In late October of 2000 Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory conducted a one-week trial period to see how many owls were around  Using audio lures and standard mist nets we banded 137 Northern Saw-whet Owls and a Barred Owl during that week. With the Trillium Foundation Grant in 2001 providing money to hire a full time bander, a full Northern Saw-whet Owl Migration Monitoring program was put into action. Ten 2-3/8 inch owl nets were erected in an area of the Cedar Woods just to the east of the main passerine netting area. In the fall of 2001, 345 Northern Saw-whet Owls, 4 Long-eared Owls, 2 Barred Owls and 3 Eastern Screech Owls were banded and a decision was made to add the program to our banding protocols.

Between 1995 and the end of 2015 PEPTBO banded the following owls - 10,540 Saw-whets, 34 Screech, 1 Great-horned, 117 Barred, 19 Long-eared and 1 Boreal.

Interestingly the KFN only banded 1 Barred Owl, this owl has now become a much more common breeder in the county.

Listen to a Saw-whet Owl HERE

 Long-eared Owl  Barred Owl

Long-eared Owl and Barred Owl (Photos:  David Okines)

Eastern Screech Owl Boreal Owl Great-horned Owl

Eastern Screech Owl  (Photo: David Okines),  Boreal Owl and Great-horned Owl (Photos:Bruce Parker)

PEPtBO is a member of Project Owlnet




 Since banding started with the KFN in 1975, there have been over 260 recoveries of the 190 species banded here. Nearly half the birds recovered have been Saw-whet Owls. The majority of the owls recovered have been caught by other owl banders in Ontario, New York and Pennsylvania.

NSWO recoveries. 

All locations of NSWO recoveries are shown. PEPTBO is located at P.

The locations shown are for the recovery site, some sites will have several recoveries while others will have had only one bird recovered there.



2012 (Fall) Owl Banding Reports

2008-2011 (Fall) Owl Banding Totals


Banding Assistant Ron with Barred and Saw-whet Owls (Photo:  David Okines)