Will GISW Have Owl Tenants This Spring?

The recent installation of a nest box for Barred Owls is the latest step in the GISW science department’s native species restoration project. It follows last year’s success in attracting breeding pairs of two other native species, tree swallows and bluebirds. The large, eagerly awaited cedar nest box, now installed six-and-a-half meters above the ground in the stand of tall hardwood trees adjacent to the sports field, was obtained thanks to the generosity of donors who participated in GISW’s 60th Legacy Campaign.

In the Assembly Hall during last November’s well attended Night of Science, 4th and 5th grade students exhibited posters they had assembled in Schüex course which illustrated in both photos and text every stage of the lifecycles of all three native species. They also helped introduce visitors to a live barred owl that had been brought by a regional raptor specialist, a visit that was the highlight of the restoration project’s exhibit.

Starting after winter break our student “nature detectives” now make a weekly walk, binoculars and nature journals in hand, to hear, see and identify original avian residents of what is today the GISW community.

We cannot assume, of course, that our school will have owl tenants this spring. However, the clear and pleasant “who cooks for you” call characteristic of a barred owl was heard on two occasions last fall in the wooded area where the nest box is now installed. Stay tuned.

Steffi Colopy

Schüex Instructor

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