I had been meaning to pull it apart, but with all the issues I had this summer, I couldn't bear to do it, fearing I would confirm what I dreaded most. But nature has a funny way of exposing herself sometimes. The rain did for me what I was unable to do and lying there in the owl poo was a little silver band, demanding my attention.
Federal Band # 2501-29649 recovered from the owl pellet
To think, this guy flew all the way to Brazil and back during the fall & winter of 2013-2014, only to arrive at my site and die as a meal to a GHO. It makes me sad.
I am so grateful that I have always spent a lot of time out with my martins and could detect when something was wrong. Even happier that I followed my instincts when I knew something was wrong. Otherwise, the damage may have been a lot worse. It doesn't make it any better for E049, but it did for the rest of my colony.
I am so grateful that my martins headed back to Brazil in mid-July as this year was exhausting and stressful. I haven't been around my gourd racks yet, except to lower them for a storm. Soon, when the weather cools, I'll be taking measurements so that I can start putting our planned design together for the owl protection that we will need for next year.
I know the owl has to eat too, but he really could go catch some of the annoying and very large moles we have here. They would certainly make a heartier meal for him. Have you seen our Missouri moles? Perhaps I should put some bells on the moles that I catch so that they can keep my owl distracted next year. Bad, old owl.