Tracking Owls in Massachusetts
Families Can Help Mass Audubon
There are eleven different species of owls found in Massachusetts, and chances are good that there are a few in your neighborhood. Families can become owl spotters and useful citizen scientists by taking part in Mass Audubon’s efforts in tracking owl populations – there are lots of ways to participate, and any and all information collected in useful!
There are a variety of different owl-themed family programs offered by Mass Audubon, including moonlit trail explorations to search for birds, hands-on learning activities at sanctuary visitor centers, and owl-themed presentations for older students and adults. After brushing up on owl-knowledge, families can venture out into their backyards or nearby woodland areas (parks, nature sanctuaries, etc.) to search for signs of owls – and maybe even a real-life owl itself!
Findings can be reported on Mass Audubon’s online Owl Reporter form, used to collect all sorts of information on owl sightings, including location, species of owl (or general characteristics of the bird), etc. There are even instructions for constructing bird houses on the organization’s website – owl-loving families can build them to encourage owls to move into their neighborhood. () Taking part in the project is a great way to supplement studies of New England wildlife biology and can help kids develop confidence in animal identification and outdoor skills. For more information, visit www.massaudubon.org/owls.
[Photo credit: (ccl) Eric Kilby]