Bernie Ladouceur, who has been the leader of the Friend’s Owl Prowl for the last six year, engaged thirty-six enthusiastic visitors and seven volunteers on distinguishing characteristics of local owls during the indoor portion of this event held at the Park’s Visitors Centre. The presentation included an AV presentation. In the subsequent field trip, taken in a well-supervised convoy to three nearby locations, Bernie was successful in having a barred and a northern saw-whet owl return his calls. He encouraged participants of all ages to practice these and other owl calls. Bernie augmented his imitation of these birds with an identification of planets and constellations in the clear moonlit sky. All participants received an invitation to support the Friends, a registered charity by becoming a member.
Barred adults are 40–63 cm tall with a 96–125 cm wingspan. Weight in this species is 500 to 1050 grams . It has a pale face with dark rings around the eyes, a yellow beak and brown eyes. Population is on the increase because it has few predators.
Saw-whet adults are 17–22 cm long with a 42–56.3 cm wingspan. They can weigh from 54 to 151 g with an average of around 80 g making them one of the smallest owls in North America. During the day, they will use their plumage colouring to camouflage their location on or near the ground. Preyed upon by larger Owls, Cooper’s Hawks and Northern Goshawks.
Of interest to those who could not be enrolled in this informative March outing, is a similar session to be held the evening of April 13. You can registered by calling 819 827 2020, option 3. Enrolment is limited, first come – first served. Arrive a few minutes early and enjoy the photographic exhibit of resident birds of the Park in the Bill Mason Room.