On a whim, in late 1987 Susan Craig and her husband Pete Polisse applied for a 2-month contract to capture and band migrating owls at Whitefish Point Bird Observatory in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Never dreaming they'd actually get the job, they were somewhat stunned when told they'd been accepted for the position! With only 3 months to prepare, they quickly learned to scrounge for warm clothing at local garage and church bazaar sales near their home in Jensen Beach, FL. Soon they had down vests, woolen gloves and sweaters, boots and head lamps to use in the cold of Michigan's late winter. The nearest town to Whitefish Point is called Paradise, but with limited groceries available there, they were advised to bring along nperishables and canned foods. With their small truck packed to the rafters, they set out for Michigan in late March. Circumstance forced them to bring along Birdie, Pete's pet bird, which in Susan's mind was a t-entirely welcome passenger. She had doubts about whether the old bird would survive the trip! This story recounts amazing star-filled nights while Susan and Pete struggled to remove hundreds of nasty-tempered owls from a trail of nets strung out through a patch of forest near the shores of Lake Superior. They dealt with bitter cold and deep sw, fierce electrical storms and isolation. But memories of the adventures they shared, rare owls, new friends and experiences will remain with them forever. Whether you're a birder or a bander, or just simply like reading unique wildlife adventures, this story will appeal to your Wild Side! About the author - Susan Craig began her bird-banding career in 1976 when she received a USFWS Master Bird Banding Permit while living in upstate New York. In 1980, she moved to Florida where she learned to catch and band raptors. This gave her the qualifications required for this owl-banding contract. Among her achievements as a volunteer with USGS/USFWS, Susan banded a Red-shouldered Hawk in Florida; tha
The author dressed for owl-banding work. Temperatures at night during most of April at Whitefish Point were below freezing, so warm clothing was essential when checking nets. Other equipment included a flashlight for navigating net lanes through the woods, and a headlamp to help in removing owls from the net.