Grand Forks raptor expert Tim Driscoll and Erika Kolbow of Turtle River State Park are hosting a public saw-whet owl banding event from 8 to 10:30 p.m. Friday in the park, 3084 Park Ave., Arvilla, N.D.
Driscoll and Kolbow will set nets to capture the tiny owls, and the banding will take place in the park’s Chalet. Turtle River State Park is about 20 miles west of Grand Forks off U.S. Highway 2.
In an email, Kolbow said banding to date has been slow because of the recent wind and warm temperatures. Before Tuesday night, wind and weather had put the banding on hold for four straight days, she said.
“Before that, we were ahead, but now we are behind,” Kolbow said. “I am hoping this means they are all bottlenecked and we’ll get a few days of big numbers to help us catch up. We are currently at 93, which is not bad but we are always hopeful for more.”
Last fall, Driscoll and Kolbow banded more than 200 saw-whet owls migrating through the park.
Snow that’s in the forecast should be gone by Friday because the ground remains warm enough to melt the white stuff on contact, Kolbow said.
“I think it will be a good night,” she said.
For more information, contact Turtle River State Park at (701) 594-4445.