Sunday, November 6, 2016


One of our project's goals is to educate people about Saw-whet owls. On Friday we got to introduce an owl to a group of 8 girl scouts and two moms (Troop 70079). My colleague at the US Forest Service, Maria Cisneros, organized this group so we were representing the USFS, Altacal Audubon Society and the Reserve, a great team! Wyatt, one of the owl banders, entertained the girls with moon, stars and wildlife stories, Maria shared binoculars, headlamps, flashlights, and treats and I even got to tell a spooky ghost story. Perfect under-the-milky way conversation! And then came an owl.......

Troop 70079 at the BCCER with Maria Cisneros (USFS) and Wyatt Hersey (Altacal)
 On our last run, voila! there she was, all feathers and golden eyes. So our conversation went to ooohs and aaaahs and the value of owls in the ecosystem, the importance of forests and snags for their breeding, Reserve habitats for migration refueling and wintering, owls as individuals and their amazing feathered toes, large asymmetric ears and keen vision. The saw-whet cast her spell again and left 8 girls, no doubt dreaming about owls!

Showing the numbered USGS bracelet (band, bling!) that we place
on the owls tarsus to identify them as individuals.
All smiles! Our owl is in the middle of the picture. Next step, RELEASE!

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