Owls of the Mission Valley
Instructor: Beth Mendelsohn
April 17 at 9:30 a.m.
This course will provide a thorough introduction to the ecology and identification of the owls of the Mission Valley. Montana boasts the largest number of breeding owl species of any state in the nation. The Mission Valley provides habitat for approximately nine of these species. By the end of the course, you should be able to correctly identify Montana’s owls, understand their adaptations, life histories and overall ecology. In addition, students will have a grasp on some owl research techniques that will help you locate owls on your own.
Meeting Place: The lobby of the Kwataqnuk Best Western Hotel in Polson, MT.
Itinerary: (subject to change due to trail closures and weather) We will begin at 9:30 a.m. with an introduction to Montana owls before heading out to drive the backroads in search of owls. We will spend time in the field looking and learning about the natural history of Montana’s owls, and other interesting facts. We will have our lunch in the field and may make a visit to the Owl Research Institute in the afternoon. The course will end by 4 p.m. and will not be cancelled due to weather.
Food: Please bring a sack lunch, plenty of water, and snacks for the day.
Equipment: It can be quite windy in the Mission Valley so prepare with warm layers, jackets, hats, gloves and sturdy shoes or boots. We will be traveling off trail and you may encounter thorn bushes, burrs, mud, ticks, so please plan accordingly. Binoculars and spotting scopes will be beneficial, as well as your favorite field guides.
Physical Requirements: Easy to little difficulty. We will be taking short off trail hikes looking for tree holes, whitewash and other signs of owls and their habitats.
Academic Credit: Please see our ‘2021 Academic Credit’ link on our website to learn about OPI credit for our courses.