Graduate student, Chad and researcher, Alba have been hard at work trapping and banding pueo on O'ahu. There have been a total of 4 pueo banded and 3 fitted with VHF transmitters. Pauli, our first VHF pueo, managed to chew his way out of the backpack transmitter after 6 days, but Rowlet has had his transmitter on now for 30 days. It seems some birds are more tolerant of transmitters than others. The most recent pueo banded and fitted with a transmitter is our first female, Nā‘ulu.
While out in the field, we have witnessed pueo performing courtship and mating, in addition to possibly territorial or aggressive behavior of chasing each other around. These transmitters have allowed Chad to track owl movements at all times of day and weather conditions. While placing transmitters on the owl we have been able to get a closer look at the species' amazing morphology!
(Warning this is an endangered species and only trained wildlife biologists with appropriate permitting and experience are able to band and handle wild animals).
Check out the talons on Nā‘ulu. You can see why they are excellent hunters; able to catch and kill prey efficiently.
This is just before Chad released Nā‘ulu back into it's natural habitat. Check out the beautiful markings and average size of an adult pueo.
Here is a picture of Rowlet wearing his VHF transmitter. Can you see the antennae near his tail feathers?