Owls are directly affected by changes in forests. These important predators are relatively easy to identify, but because they’re nocturnal and nest early in the season, they can be difficult to monitor.
Information on owl distribution and abundance is essential for developing sound conservation strategies, identifying species in need of conservation action, and evaluating the effectiveness of forest management programs.
Through Nocturnal Owl Surveys across Canada, over 1000 volunteers count owls along isolated roads, documenting population trends and breeding range limits. Surveyors enjoy the solitude and peace of these early season events — a precursor to a busy spring. Many of the surveys have become family traditions with decades of memories shared through the generations.
Birds Canada thanks all the volunteers and conservation partners who support Nocturnal Owl Surveys. Owl surveys begin in February in British Columbia and in mid-March or April everywhere else. If you live near Canada’s great forests consider contacting your regional owl survey program to volunteer.