Something over 30 people joined Suan and me for last night’s owl crawl. It was 
impossible to get an exact count because folks joined and left as the evening 
progressed. Nevertheless, I was astounded - over 30, in the dark, on a cold and 
blustery night! 

We got started a little after dark at Bull Pasture Pond on Bluegrass Lane and 
quickly had a Screech-owl respond to playback. With Suan’s help (and his 
thermal imaging camera) we were able to locate it and get good looks. From 
there we drove up Mt Pleasant Road to try for Great Horned Owl opposite the 
observatory - no luck. Then on to the Park Preserve North for Barred Owl. 
Again, no luck and none again from the parking lot at the end of Hammond Hill 

With success/failure hanging in the balance, we headed out to John Confer’s 
banding station in Caroline. Although it was a slow night for migrating owls, 
he had a Saw-whet ready for us. The entire crew got to see a live owl, up 
close, and to hear about the capture, banding, and information-gathering 

Many thanks to Suan for co-leading, to John for opening his nets, and for Julia 
for showing us the little owl. The great irony for me was that, after missing 
Barred and Great Horned Owls all evening, I was awakened by a pair of Great 
Horneds dueting outside my window in the middle of the night!

Bob McGuire

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