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Manitoba Nocturnal Owl Survey

In 1991, Jim and Patsy Duncan in cooperation with Manitoba Conservation initiated the first extensive, systematic volunteer owl survey in Canada. The objectives were to:
• determine relative owl species abundance and distribution,
• determine species-specific habitat associations,
• determine multi-annual population fluctuations, and
• provide an opportunity for volunteers to contribute to our understanding of owl ecology.

Today, the Manitoba Nocturnal Owl follows a standard protocol that was established in 1991. Each spring, near the end of March or beginning of April, volunteers conduct a single night-time survey along a previously established 10 stop route. Ten species of owls have been detected on these surveys: Barn Owl, Barred Owl, Boreal Owl, Eastern Screech-Owl, Great Gray Owl, Great Horned Owl, Long-eared Owl, Northern Hawk Owl, Northern Saw-whet Owl, and Short-eared Owl.

Protocol, forms and resources

The Manitoba Nocturnal Owl Survey is a partnership between Manitoba Conservation and Birds Canada.

Long-eared Owl Photo: Sandra Horvath


Tim Poole
Manitoba Volunteer Coordinator