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Game & Fish Captures Burrowing Owls

July 27, 2018
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Following burrowing owls!

Pinedale - The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is partnering with the Idaho Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit to capture and mark Wyoming burrowing owls to learn more about their summer and wintering areas and their seasonal migration routes between the two. The Wyoming effort is part of a larger project involving several western states and Candian provinces doing the same. Any adult burrowing owls captured are fitted with a solar-powered satellite transmitter to track their year-round movements. Juvenile burrowing owls only receive a leg band. Earlier in July, researchers captured six juveniles and one adult on the Pinedale Mesa south of Pinedale. Researchers suspect the owls that summer and nest in Wyoming may spend their winters in Mexico, but won't know for sure until the marked adult makes the trip later this fall. 

Additional project cooperators include University of Wyoming Chalfoun Lab, U.S. Forest Service Thunder Basin National Grasslands, Great Plains Wildlife Consulting and The Nature Conservancy with funding from Arch Coal/Black Thunder Coal and several generous private landowners. The capture and tracking effort will continue in 2019. 

Here, Wyoming Game and Fish Nongame Bird Biologist Andrea Orabona is about to release a juvenile burrowing owl back to its burrow on the Pinedale Mesa south of Pinedale after fitting it with a leg band.

- WGFD -



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