Friends of Kootenay Blog

Access stories and photos about the natural and human history of Kootenay National Park and Columbia Valley Includes highlights about the Friends of Kootenay National Park activities and programs.


Nocturnal Owl Survey

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Thanks Christian Artuso for your excellent Boreal Owl photo.  For more of Christan’s work go to  and be sure to visit his Birds & Wildlife Blog 

Most species of owls are secretive and nocturnal, making population monitoring difficult. But fortunately owls are very vocal.

So this time of year volunteer owl surveyors from across Canada are heading out at night listening for owl calls and documenting their numbers. The Nocturnal Owl survey in Kootenay National Park is now in its 11th year and is one of many owl routes across British Columbia and the Yukon.  

In 2011, 84 owlers stopped 1092 times in the darkness to listen for owls. They detected 184 owls which is down from the 2010 total of 248.  In the southern interior of BC the Northern Saw-whet Owl is one of the most common owls heard followed by the Great Horned Owl and Barred Owl. But this year on March 8th,  2 Boreal Owls were recorded during the survey in Kootenay National Park. They were heard calling around 9:00pm along the highway just north of McLeod Meadows Campground. 

For more on Nocturnal Owl Monitoring go to Bird Studies Canada
Listen to the Boreal Owl