2011 VINS Owl Festival

Story and photos by Nancy Nutile-McMenemy
February 19, 2011
Vermont Institute of Natural Sciences, Quechee VT

On a blustery Saturday in February a few brave souls made their way to the Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS) in Quechee VT for the 2011 Owl Festival.

Whoooo's living in our backyards? Can owls see in the dark? Do they make noise when they fly? Do they hunt by sight or sound or both?? These questions and more were answered last Saturday February 19 at the Owl Festival hosted by VINS.

With the very heavy snow pack this year, owls are having a hard time locating food. As a result, more people are seeing owls in their backyards, hanging around their bird feeders looking for the feeder visitors such as small birds and rodents that go after the fallen seed.

Katie Koerten, Wildlife Services Intern at VINS, talks to the crowd about the Great Horned Owl, who we learned isn't horned at all but is feathered! Whoooo knew!

The crowd was also introduced to one of the smallest owls-a Screech Owl, who had been hit by a car and sent to VINS for surgery--the little guy survived but lost an eye as a result of the accident. Noella Girard, Environmental Educator at VINS asks the crowd to guess this bird weight--well they call him the "quater pounder."

In additon to owls, VINS also hosts many other birds of prey such as a pair of Bald Eagles. 

Their website also hosts a Patient Cam so you can watch the progress of various animals that end up under their care. The Web Cam is available during daylight hours so check back then and please do not leave the cam link streaming help them save on web hosting!

VINS is the largest avian rehabilitation facility in Vermont, each year they treat hundreds of bird from all around the state. If you feel you can make a donation to help save some of these majestic animals please DONATE, today.

For more information about VINS you can follow their blog: http://www.vtnature.blogspot.com/

Copyright ©2011 Nancy Nutile-McMenemy

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