Wildlife Student Seeks Community Assistance for Owl Study

By Beacon Staff

Kari Eneas, a tribal wildlife biologist trainee and student at the University of Montana, is planning a research project and field study of barn owls in the Mission Valley. Eneas is a senior in the wildlife management program and will conduct the survey of barn owls as an independent study project. This project will occur during spring and summer school vacation.

Barn owls, a species that has rarely been documented in Montana, have been recently sighted in the Mission Valley. These owls can be easily identified by their white, heart shaped facial disc. The barn owl is pale white underneath and buff-golden on its backside. Patterns of white, gray and black may be visible amidst its golden upper feathers and serve as camouflage.

Community observations and sightings of potential nesting sites of barn owls will be an important part of locating barn owls for this project. The low lying regions of the valley floor in open grasslands featuring ponds, old buildings and barn structures create the most ideal conditions for the species and the focus of the search. This owl gets its name from its tendency to nest in old barns and out buildings.

For more information regarding this project or to provide information regarding sightings of barn owls contact Kari directly by phone at 261.6774 or by email at [email protected]

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