First and third Saturdays ONLY – Start time: 8:00 a.m.
January: Antietam Meadow Park (meet in parking lot)
February: Carroll Valley Community Park – 5685 Fairfield Rd, Carroll Valley—across Fairfield Rd (PA 116) from Liberty Mountain Ski Resort. Meet in front of Borough Bldg/Library
March: Caledonia State Park (meet at park office)
April: Pine Hill Recreation Area (meet in parking lot)
May: Conococheague Institute (meet at visitor center)
June: Gettysburg National Battlefield (meet at Virginia monument) [To be confirmed]
July: Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve (meet in parking lot)
August: Antietam Meadow Park (meet in parking lot)
September: Caledonia State Park (meet at park office)
October: Renfrew Park (meet in lower parking lot off Welty Rd.)
November: Conococheague Institute (meet at visitor center)
December: Antietam Meadow Park (meet in parking lot)
First and third Saturday spring, summer, fall and winter bird walks find birding enthusiasts Sharon and Larry Williams of Waynesboro leading the walks along the hiking trails at varying locations throughout the area.
Participants should wear comfortable walking shoes and may bring identification books and binoculars. Free and open to the public. Just show up—no reservations required!
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