UTAH (ABC4) – This international festival is a week dedicated to the world’s most mystical creatures; the owl.
The International Festival of Owls is a widespread event that invites the public to engage with their local wildlife. Held each year during the first week of March, community members are invited to birdwatch, scout, and admire the nocturnal animals.
On March 8, the Bureau of Land Management – Utah shares these interesting owl facts.
According to BLM- Utah, owls are capable of silent flight, camouflage, excellent hearing, night vision, and have very sharp claws.
In 2021, due to COVID-19, most activities associated with the International Festival of Owls have come to a halt but there is still a way many can continue to participate; scouting and admiring them from afar.
According to Tracy Aviary, families are welcome to take an ‘owl walk’ and learn about the creatures anytime up until the end of May.
“Tracy Aviary’s community science team studies birds in twelve parks and natural areas around Salt Lake. Because owls are elusive and nocturnal, they are difficult to survey using our traditional bird survey methods,” the team writes. “Instead, we lead groups of volunteers on nighttime surveys where we walk through the site and stop periodically to play owl calls and listen for any responses by resident owls. These surveys help us learn more about how owls use habitat in urban areas and along the Jordan River.”
Anyone who is aged twelve and older is welcome to participate.
“Owl walks take place weekly from mid-February to May. This is a family-friendly project appropriate for children ages 12 years and older,” they share. “We ask that participants wear face coverings, and we are currently limiting the group size to 10 people or fewer to allow for social distancing. RSVP required.”
To make a reservation visit https://www.tracyaviaryconservation.org/owls.
According to the Tracy Aviary, there are over 150 species of owls around the world! Officials say, Utah is fortunate to have 14 species of owls found in the state.
“Among them are the beloved Burrowing Owl, the majestic Great Horned Owl, and the “aww” inspiring Northern Saw-Whet Owl,” they add.
Tracy Aviary shares that though owls reside in Utah, researchers still do not know very much about these nocturnal neighbors. Wildlife and land management are still exploring many questions about Utah’s owls, such as:
- Where are they?
- Where do they go throughout the year?
- How many of each species are there?
- Are they finding the food and spaces they need?
For more information on Utah owls visit https://wildlifeinformer.com/owls-in-utah/.