Pocahontas County Nature Club hosts owl talk
Naturalist, birder and nature photographer Doug Jolley, of Braxton County, shared his knowledge on and photography of owls at the Pocahontas County Nature Club event Saturday at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank.
Jolley traveled to Ontario and Ottawa, Canada, last year to set his eyes on the owls of that area.
“This is like a travel log of searching for owls a year, year-and-a-half ago,” Jolly said. “In 2013, it was kind of known that that was an eruption year in Ontario of owls. A lot of these owls nest and live at what is known as the Hudsonian Life Zone up in the Hudson Bay. That whole zone is home to several of these owls. They stay there ninety percent of the time unless they run out of food and then they come downwards.”
While in Canada, Jolley visited Amherst Island, a known haven for snowy owls.
“On the green belt, they were seeing great gray owls,” he said. “We headed up to see them and along the way, we stopped at Amherst Island. It’s Canadian. We spent the night and saw a total of four [snowy owls] that day. They’re great travelers. They live in that Hudsonian Life Zone across North America. Last year was the big eruption. They were in North Carolina and West Virginia in a couple of spots.”
Jolley shared photographs of snowy owls, great gray owls, screech owls, short-eared owls, a barn owl and other winter birds he saw during his trip. He also shared photographs from trips to Ohio and the Three Rivers Avian Center in Hinton and provided a list of websites to visit to track birds.
American Birding Association, at www.aba.org, has a “sightings” tab where birders log what they have seen in their area. Jolley also suggested the site, www.allabout birds.org
The Three Rivers Avian Center, which is home to several raptors who cannot be released into the wild, may be found at www.tracwv.org
“Thanks to instant messaging, for birding, you can track what people are seeing instantly,” Jolley said of the websites.
For more information on the Pocahontas County Nature Club, visit its Facebook page with the same name.
Suzanne Stewart may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org