BOIS D`ARC, Mo. – At the Bois D`Arc Conservation Area a parliament of young owls are being banded for scientific purposes.

Several members of the Missouri Department of Conservation joined the Deputy Director of the World Bird Sanctuary, Jeff Meshach, to help put bands on an owl family nesting in their owl box.

“We want to try and learn as much about these birds as we can. And especially as I mentioned earlier, nobody knows where they go. They all leave this area for the winter,” says Meshach. “It’s assumed that they go south, but nobody really knows.”

Meshach says the barn owlets will be taken care of by their parents for about another month before they fly away.

“The birds will eventually fly off on their own or their parents will chase them out of their territory,” says Meshach. He says that the parents will eventually see their children as rivals for the territory.

By banding owls, scientists can collect data on when owls migrate, what kind of habitat they prefer, and the ratios of males to females. Banding owls also contributes important data on migration routes and age.

The owlets at the Bois D`Arc Conservation Area are about 60 days old.

Here’s a look at the banding process: