Cape Cod National Seashore to Host Presentation on Snowy and Saw-whet Owls

A Snowy Owl rescued at Logan Airport, is shown before being released at Sandy Neck Beach

EASTHAM – Since 1981, Norman Smith has spent countless days and nights, in every imaginable weather condition, observing, capturing, banding, and color marking snowy owls at Logan International Airport.

He has collected data on roosting, hunting, and behavior while the birds are on their wintering grounds.

Most recently, he has attached satellite transmitters to owls to learn more about their movements.

On August 23 at 7 p.m. at the Salt Pond Visitor Center in Eastham, Smith will share his findings to date, questions that remain, and how this project evolved to include research on saw-whet owls.

Smith is a self-taught naturalist who has worked for the Massachusetts Audubon Society since 1974.

Smith has studied birds of prey for over 35 years, including rehabilitating the injured and successfully fostering over 1,000 orphaned hawk and owl chicks into adoptive nests.

His ongoing long-term projects include trapping and banding migrating hawks and owls in the Blue Hills Reservation, banding nestling hawks and owls, and researching snowy owls and other raptors wintering at Boston’s Logan International Airport.

He has also traveled to Alaska to study snowy owls in their native tundra habitat.

His research work has been published in National Geographic, National Wildlife, Massachusetts Wildlife and Owls of the World.

The program is part of the “Tuesday Nights at Salt Pond” series, which are suitable for all ages, free of charge, and accessible.

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