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A Barred Owl perched in a cedar with its eyes shut
Photo: Stuart Immonen

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.

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.


You can help by becoming a volunteer this spring, conducting roadside surveys for nocturnal calling owls!


Volunteers survey at 10 roadside stops on a pre-determined route on an evening or night of their choice in April. We are looking for volunteers to adopt existing routes that are not currently being surveyed or new routes in areas with no current coverage.

This is a great survey for any birder able to identify owls by their calls, or who is willing to learn to do so. Participants should have access to a vehicle, and be able to spend one evening per spring conducting the survey. 


Learn more and get involved:


To learn more please visit or email Andrew P. Coughlan at acoughlan @

Photo: Amanda Bichel
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