Northern Saw-whet Owl Banding

Northern Saw-whet Owl Banding 

MRBO has been banding Northern Saw-whet Owls in central Missouri since 2010 and in Arrow Rock since 2014.  Each fall we welcome visitors to our office during the nights we attempt to catch this small owl during its migration season.  In 2018, we hosted over 100 visitors, most of whom got to see an owl despite it being a very slow year for us in terms of owl captures.  Please see the data for our past few seasons below!

If you would like to visit our owl banding station this Fall 2019: 

Watch MRBO’s Facebook page ( for regular updates


Email Paige at to be added to the email update list about which nights we will be banding Northern Saw-whet Owls. 

INFORMATION ABOUT VISITING: Please read NSWO_visitinginfo.doc

Northern Saw-whet Owl Banding 2018
MRBO’s owl station was open for 12 nights during the period of October 24th to November 12th, 2018.  It was a very low capture season, with only 12 owls caught in those 12 nights of operation.  However, two of the 12 were owls that had been banded by other stations – one in central Saskatchewan and one at Hawk Ridge, Minnesota!  Here are the number of captures by night:
October 24th – 1 owl
October 26th – 1 owl
October 27th – 1 owl
October 28th – 1 owl, previously banded in Minnesota
October 31st – 2 owls
November 1st – 1 owl
November 2nd – no owls
November 7th – 2 new owls plus 1 owl previously banded in Saskatchewan
November 9th – 1 owl
November 10th – 1 owl, plus a recapture of 1 owl banded by us on November 7th
November 11th – no owls
November 12th – no owls

Northern Saw-whet Owl Banding 2017
Last fall, MRBO’s Northern Saw-whet Owl banding station in Arrow Rock was open for 18 nights from October 22nd to November 15th.  We hosted about 60 visitors from October 25th to November 12th.  Below are the results from the 2017 season.  

October 22nd – No owls
October 24th – 1 owl
October 25th – 3 owls
October 27th – No owls
October 28th – 1 owl
October 29th – 2 owls
October 30th – 1 owl
October 31st – No owls
November 2nd – 1 owl
November 3rd – No owls
November 5th – 2 owls
November 6th – 4 owls
November 7th – 4 owls
November 8th – 3 owls + 1 foreign recovery from Minnesota
November 9th – 2 owls
November 10th – 1 owl
November 12th – 1 owl
November 15th – 4 owls
Total = 29 new + 1 foreign recovery

Northern Saw-whet Owl Banding 2016
In 2016, MRBO’s Arrow Rock station was open for 11 nights from October 30th to November 15th.  We hosted 131 visitors from October 30th to November 10th.  Below are the results from the 2016 season.  

October 30th – 14 owls
November 3rd – 6 owls
November 4th – 9 owls
November 5th – 2 owls
November 6th – 6 owls
November 8th – 1 owl
November 9th – 6 owls
November 10th – 1 owl + 1 within-season recapture
November 13th – 2 owls + 1 within-season recapture
November 14th – 3 owls
November 15th – 1 owl
Total = 51 owls + 2 within-season recaptures


Northern Saw-whet Owl captured on October 30th; photo by Steve Garr.