Creatures of the Night: Owl Walk for Age 15 & Up, The Institute

Creatures of the Night: Owl Walk for Age 15 & Up, The Institute

Thursday February 24th, 2022 * 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
(The Owl Walk was originally set for Feb. 3) 
Naturalist Lori Schlosser conducts a winter walk to areas of Pine Hill Park likely to attract owls. A pre-walk information session teaches about the nocturnal creatures and methods to locate them.
The activity is free (donations accepted), but registration is required and limited to 60. Spaces fill up quickly for this popular event, so anyone wishing to join the walk should register soon. To register, call 717-762-0373 or email to dave@natureandcultureinstitute.org
Just before the walk, Schlosser will present a brief introduction to owls and a preview of various owl calls. Schlosser will then lead the group along trails in the park. During several stops, the group will pause and call various owls, including the great horned owl, the barred owl and the screech owl.
Patience is required when trying to call owls. “If the calls are too loud, you can scare them off,” Schlosser said. Participants must stand quietly for short periods of time to watch for owl flight and listen for owl reply calls.
Schlosser hopes participants will attempt to call owls on their own once they have learned how. “They could go to places on their own, maybe in their backyard or along a road at the edge of a woods.” 
Those attending should dress appropriately for the weather, as the walk may last up to an hour. Flashlights are permitted; however, participants will be asked to turn them off during the walk to allow their eyes to adjust to the darkness.
This walk is limited to ages 15 and up. Dress warmly and bring flashlights. Limit 60. Free, but pre-registration is required.
Snow/rain date TBA if needed.
For more information or to register, call 717-762-0373 or email to dave@natureandcultureinstitute.org
Creatures of the Night: Owl Walk for Age 15 & Up, The Institute

Creatures of the Night: Owl Walk for Age 15 & Up, The Institute

Thursday February 3rd, 2022 * 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Naturalist Lori Schlosser conducts a winter walk to areas of Pine Hill Park likely to attract owls. A pre-walk information session teaches about the nocturnal creatures and methods to locate them.
The activity is free (donations accepted), but registration is required and limited to 60. Spaces fill up quickly for this popular event, so anyone wishing to join the walk should register soon. To register, call 717-762-0373 or email to info@natureandcultureinstitute.org
Just before the walk, Schlosser will present a brief introduction to owls and a preview of various owl calls. Schlosser will then lead the group along trails in the park. During several stops, the group will pause and call various owls, including the great horned owl, the barred owl and the screech owl.
Patience is required when trying to call owls. “If the calls are too loud, you can scare them off,” Schlosser said. Participants must stand quietly for short periods of time to watch for owl flight and listen for owl reply calls.
Schlosser hopes participants will attempt to call owls on their own once they have learned how. “They could go to places on their own, maybe in their backyard or along a road at the edge of a woods.” 
Those attending should dress appropriately for the weather, as the walk may last up to an hour. Flashlights are permitted; however, participants will be asked to turn them off during the walk to allow their eyes to adjust to the darkness.
This walk is limited to ages 15 and up. Dress warmly and bring flashlights. Limit 60. Free, but pre-registration is required.
Snow/rain date TBA if needed.
For more information or to register, call 717-762-0373 or email to info@natureandcultureinstitute.org

 

Birding Field Trip: Short-eared Owls, The Institute

Birding Field Trip: Short-eared Owls, The Institute

Saturday, January 22nd, 2022 * 4:00 PM
Birding Field Trip: Short-eared Owls
Let’s travel to Gettysburg for a special winter afternoon birding excursion, in search of Short-eared Owls.
Arrive at 3:00 PM for this special excursion in search of the Short-eared Owl at Gettysburg!
The trip is led by ornithologists Larry and Sharon Williams, who also led our bi-monthly SOAR bird walks. 
The trip is free. Participants provide their own transportation and will meet at Gettysburg Battlefield.
Rendezvous location will be provided upon registration. 
Unlike many owls, Short-eared hunt over fields and meadows during the daytime, which provides an amazing opportunity to observe their graceful flight and hunting behaviors. When the owls are present, there can be several hunting in the same area on nearby fields.
“If we are fortunate enough to encounter multiple owls, then we may be able to hear their vocalizations and see interactions between them,” said Dave Graff, Institute faculty member and event coordinator.
Short-eared Owls are medium-sized owls with rounded heads. The “ears” mentioned in their name are difficult to see but darkened feathers around their yellow eyes creates a stunning visual contrast. The wings are broad, and the tips are smoothly rounded. The tail is short.
The owls are medium brown spotted with buff and white on the upper parts, and the face is pale with yellow eyes accentuated by black outlines. The breast is heavily streaked with brown; the chest and belly are pale or buff. They hunt during daylight, flying low over short vegetation. They flap with stiff beats of their rounded wings, giving their flight a buoyant, mothlike quality. Look for Short-eared Owls in grasslands and open areas, where they perch in low trees or on the ground.
Cost: FREE. This trip is limited to 12 participants. Pre-registration is required by January 17th. For more information or to register, email to: info@NatureAndCultureInstitute.org
Project SNOWStorm & Project OwlNet: Rescheduled During Severe Cold Set For Tues., Feb. 12

Project SNOWStorm & Project OwlNet: Rescheduled During Severe Cold Set For Tues., Feb. 12

Owls are in the spotlight during a program on Project SNOWStorm and Project OwlNet on Tuesday, February 12 at 7 p.m. in the visitors center at Renfrew Park. The program is sponsored by Renfrew Institute, and admission is free.

As reports of increasing numbers of snowy owl sightings emerged across Pennsylvania and other northern states in the winter of 2013–14, a team of researchers gathered to learn more about these owls, calling their effort Project SNOWstorm.

Steve Huy is a co-founder of Project SNOWstorm, and co-director of Project Owlnet, a long term study of saw-whet owls based at the Lambs Knoll station in Maryland’s Catoctin Mountains.

Project SNOWstorm uses innovative science to track and understand snowy owls, and to engage people in their conservation through outreach and education.

Huy began banding snowy owls for future identification several years ago. Some of the owls are fitted with solar-powered transmitters that provide insight into their activities for several years, including data on latitude, longitude and altitude.

Researchers have discovered that some owls are “home-bodies,” rarely traveling more than a quarter-mile. Other owls travel hundreds of miles in just a few weeks, moving from islands along the Atlantic coast to Pennsylvania farm country, and then back to the coast.

The owls are given nicknames, some of which reflect where they were originally tagged. Stella, Pettibone, Baltimore, Pickford, and Island Beach are just a few of the owls whose movements are tracked by Project SNOWStorm.