Banding together for raptor research: P-R writer learns from nature expert

By Chris Fasolino Press-Republican | Posted: Sunday, November 2, 2014 12:00 am

I had just finished supper when a man walked into the room with a great horned owl on his shoulders.The setting was the balcony of a Lake Placid Restaurant. The owl was Scooter. The man was Mark Manske of Adirondack Raptors. Manske and Scooter were there for a bird-of-prey show. Surprised and happy to have stumbled upon the event — or to have the event stumble upon me — I went outside to watch. Along with Scooter, Manske was accompanied by Frieda, the Harris hawk; Tessie, the barn owl; and Pippin, the kestrel. The birds were fascinating and beautiful, and eager guests such as myself got to participate. Read More

2015 Saw Whet Owl Season

The 2015 saw whet owl season started on 20 September and we intend to close the nets on 6 November. The nets are opened 0.5 hours after sunset and run until there are no more owls or (if there is no activity) 11:00 PM.

This year we switched to red head lamps instead of the more invasive white light. We also moved across the road, approximately 1000 feet north of last year’s location to a region that is very brushy. The final change we made was to use nets made from Spidertech INC. out of Helsinki, Finland. Read More

The 2015 Saw Whet Owl Season is almost upon us

The 5th saw whet owl season will start on 20 September 2015.  We are gearing up for another awesome season.  Last year one of our banded owls ended up 15 miles west of the Liberty Bell near Philadelphia, PA.  We cannot wait to hear where our birds end up this season.

Franklin County Fair

Emily, the birds and I have spent this week at the 165th Franklin County Fair in Malone, NY.  Morley and Mortimer have been carrying the lion’s share of the burden, but they have been great.

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The summer of 2015

The birds and I have been very busy this summer and we have had a few new additions. On 26 April, I picked up Mortimer our young male Harris Hawk.  Mortimer has become a great asset to Adirondack Raptors.  He loves to fly around people and has flown in grows of 300 so far.  Read More

The 14th kestrel season is almost finished.

With only 1 nest box that is still in question, the season has been a smashing success.  We have already banded 237 kestrel chicks and 6 adults.  We have banded 1523 chicks during the first 14 years and 1678 total kestrels banded during the first year.


“For one species to mourn the death of another species is a new thing under the sun.” – Aldo Leopold 1948. Leopold wrote this about the loss of the passenger pigeon in 1914. How many have we lost since and how many more are we willing to loose?

So let’s loose the prairie chicken, then what’s next? And where do you finally say no, we don’t want to loose anymore? By the time you reach that point, maybe you are down to microtus and grasshoppers. – Fredrick Hamerstrom 1984

Children of Man in the 21st Century

Children of Man in the 21st Century

The children of man have lost their sense of wonderment in this incredible world. They use to walk in the forest as part of the forest and were filled with a humble spirit, but today they have lost contact with the seasons of the planet. In the city, humans are god and they rule with an egocentric eye, but in nature they see reality and are taught through humility that they are merely part of creation.

In the 21st century it takes the children of man a few hours to traverse the planet instead of the years it took his predecessor. When the journey was long and arduous, they noted the intricate complexities of the life that share the Earth with them. They were totally immersed in the natural world, not just a casual visitor as they travelled, they smelled the air and felt the soil beneath their feet. The cold morning air nipped at their noses and the warm noon sun warmed their very souls. Now they travel in temperature controlled vehicles and when they do have to walk outside, they are plugged into their iPhones or iPods and rarely notice the songs of the creatures around them as they plod along. Today, only a rare farmer touches the soil that grows our food. Read More

Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic

As an academic grandchild of Aldo Leopold, I have always been a huge fan of the man.  He was decades ahead of his time.  He is decades ahead of our time.  My mentors, the Hamerstroms were students of Leopold.  Frederick was Leopold’s only graduate student and Francis was his only female student.  Through the years,  I have made numerous observations pertaining to the LAND ETHIC.  Read More