You could say that come rain or shine the Windham-Ashland-Jewett Central School Science Club had a hoot, when they prowled grounds of the Siuslaw Model Forest in Acra in search of owls. Under the supervision of environmental educator, Fran Marino, these budding zoologists, participated in an Owl Prowl, a science activity sponsored by the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Greene County with funds provided by the Windham Chapter Foundation.
Martino described an owl prowl as “basically a hike in the woods at night – preferably on a full moon night – to mimic the sounds of various owls, or play recordings of owl sounds, and listen for a response. More importantly, owl prowls provide a sense of adventure, mystery and challenge – it’s a whole new world out there at night.” Martino began with a brief introduction and a few activities indoors at Cornell’s Agro Forestry Center. Students learned about owl anatomy and special adaptations. They will experience how to find food by hunting by sound as owls do. They learned the hoots, wails and shrieks made by different species of owls. The four partners involved in the Owl Prowl agree that the program’s key goal is to teach students the importance of owls to the environment. According to experts, owl habitats are in decline. And because we rarely see owls, we sometimes forget they are there. This program strives to help interested students hear the owl’s call.
Board Member, Phyllis Parrish delivered 30 copies of Owls by Adrienne Mason to the group. “It’s a perfect complement to the Owl Prowl, voiced WAJ Science teacher Joyce Valenti. The Owl Prowl is a four-part science series funded by the Windham Chapter. The Windham Chapter embraces the spirit and passion of the Catskills. They are dedicated to enriching life on the mountaintop, while also preserving our local heritage through education, recreation and the arts.