Night Owls - SAM Conservation Biologists Experience with the Nocturnal Owl Survey
While we're still feeling snowed under, it's amazing to think that birds are continuing with their lives and getting their spring and summer lives ready.
|Despite still feeling like winter, birds are going to start to reappear here in our province. Can you identify the bird in the image? No? Then it's time to break out the bird books and familiarize ourselves again with our feathered friends.|
|A Boreal Owl can be identified by its small stature, large square head and yellow eyes. They also sport a streaky breast and have tiny white spots on its back and crown. |
|Here in Newfoundland and Labrador, there are a variety of wildlife surveys that normally take place each season. Due to the pandemic this year, surveys are on hold; however, we thought we'd share our story and some resources you can work on indoors.|
Last year, my co-surveyor and I did our second year of the Nocturnal Owl Survey route in Bauline and Portugal Cove - St. Philip's. It was a truly unusual experience to stand by the side of the road at night, in your safety vest with your phone in hand, playing owl noises, quietly waiting to hear if the owls respond to you. The purpose of this activity is to monitor populations of owls along specific routes every year, so we can tell whether different species are present or not, and if they are increasing, decreasing, or staying at the same population levels.
|While we are stuck indoors, you can still learn the sounds of all the owls in Newfoundland (Larkwire is a great way to do this).|
In our case, we haven't seen or heard any owls on our route yet, but it is a fairly urban route - and maybe in future years we will detect some. There are lots of spots in central Newfoundland where there may be higher densities of owls - and you could be the one to hear them. If you spend this season working on learning the owls of Newfoundland, and their sounds, you'll be all set for a great survey next year. And even if you don't hear any owls, the sights and sounds of other birds and animals may make your night - we've stood in the silence as we appreciate all the sounds of the snipes flying around us, spotted other birds, cats, and foxes.
|We have several different owl species in the province including Great Horned Owl, Short-eared Owl, and Northern Hawk Owl.|
|While we'll be missing out on the survey this year, we look forward to its return in 2021. It's nice to know that at some point owls and wildlife adventures will bring us together again. |
SAM Network News & Updates
- Apply for Funding Looking to get your next environmental stewardship project off the ground in your community? Find over 50 potential funding grants here. Need help? Email us for more info.
- SAM Scholarship Deadline : SAM has been supporting young conservationists in our province since 2015.The $1000 scholarship recognizes a student from Newfoundland and Labrador that has a passion for environmental conservation and stewardship work in their community. Please note, due to early school closure due to COVID-19, we do not require a school transcript as part of the 2020 application and we have extended the deadline to apply to Sept 20, 2020.
|The reciepient of the 2019 SAM Scholarship, Alison Jeon and SAM Treasurer Cynthia Downey.|
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