Owls occupy a unique place in human societies and culture. They are both feared and revered. Occupiers of the night they are mysterious and usually difficult to find. From the nearly ubiquitous Great Horned and Eastern Screech Owl to the rare Short-eared Owl, Maryland is blessed with seven species of breeding owls. Come learn about Maryland’s owls from one of the Free State’s experts on owls. This presentation will explore the complex relationships between owls and humans, introduce our local owls and delve more deeply into the natural history of two charismatics owls, the diminutive Northern Saw-whet Owl and “Ukpik” the Snowy Owl.
A regional ecologist with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Natural Heritage Program since 1990, Dave works on biodiversity conservation, where he specializes on colonial nesting waterbirds and marshbirds, as well as working on freshwater mussels, tiger beetles and odonates. He began bird banding in 1975 with raptors in Wisconsin at the Little Suamico Ornithological Station, and has been banding Northern Saw-whet Owls in Maryland since 1986, and at Assateague Island since 1991. He founded the now continental collaborative banding effort Project Owlnet in 1994. Along with colleagues and many volunteers he has organized banding of over 25,000 Brown Pelicans in Maryland and Virginia. In addition to his professional duties, during his free time he studies Northern Goshawks in West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania and has experience with traditional radio, satellite, and cellular telemetry of Black Skimmers, Northern Goshawks, Northern Saw-whet and Snowy Owls. Most recently he co-founded, and is a leading principal in Project SNOWstorm.