We are organizing the 2020 survey for the rare and elusive Western Screech Owl and would like to invite you to the Survey Launch Night which is now scheduled for Saturday March 28, 2020. We will be starting at 6:30pm to 9:00pm at the Helmcken Park and Ride.
This volunteer opportunity involves being quiet, outside for 3 hours in the dark on the roads, and is not suitable for children. Experienced birders and HAT volunteers welcome, but important to come prepared and dressed for the weather.
Please be on time as training begins at 6:30 sharp!
We'll go through the survey protocol and other instructions and will split into groups before carpooling to our respective transects. Plan to be out until about 9:00pm. And, as always, owl surveys are weather-dependent. If we get heavy rain (or snow!) or wind, we will have to reschedule the surveys, likely to Sunday March 29. We expect to have 8-9 transects again this year - all are repeats from previous years, and we’re including at least 1 in the Metchosin/East Sooke area. Please let us know if you have a preference for a particular transect.
Please bring the following:
1. Warm clothes for the weather and please avoid noisy clothing
2. Personal snacks/food/water for the evening
3. Headlamp or flashlight
4. Reflective vest, if you have one (HAT will bring several, if you don't have one)
5. GPS and Compass if you have one
6. Your keen listening skills.
To prepare for the evenings activities, I recommend that you listen to Western Screech Owl, Barred Owl, Great Horned Owl, Northern Pigmy Owl, and Northern Saw-whet Owl sound recordings. The Western Screech Owl can be found at the ‘sound’ tab at: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Western_Screech-Owl/id Click on 'search' to find other species of owl and their calls.