Birding Field Trip to Gettysburg: Short-eared Owls on January 14


WAYNESBORO—The Institute is hosting a birding field trip to the Gettysburg area on Saturday, Jan. 14 at 4 p.m. The guided trip will focus on spotting Short-eared Owls. It is free and open to the public, but reservations are required.  

Ornithologist Larry Williams will lead the trip, along with environmental educator Dave Graff, The Institute’s watershed science coordinator.

“Unlike many owls, Short-eareds hunt over fields and meadows during the daytime, which provides an amazing opportunity to observe their graceful flight and hunting behaviors,” Graff said. “We will search for these spectacular winter guests at several sites in Gettysburg.”  

According to Graff, when the owls are present, there can be several hunting in the same area on nearby fields. 

“If we are fortunate enough to encounter multiple owls, then we may be able to hear their vocalizations and see interactions between them,” he said. 

Short-eared are medium-sized brown owls, spotted with buff and white and with striking coloring on their heads. 

“The ‘ears’ mentioned in their name are difficult to see,” Graff said, “but darkened feathers around their yellow eyes creates a stunning visual contrast.” 

Binoculars, camera, or spotting scope use is encouraged, but electronic bird call use is strictly prohibited. 

This program is underwritten in part by Marge Kiersz, Lucinda D. Potter, CPA, and SEK CPAs & Advisors. Additional support is by The Institute’s Today’s Horizon Fund contributors: The Nora Roberts Foundation; Marge Kiersz; and the Carolyn Terry Eddy Family: Carolyn, with daughters Connie Fleagle & Kim Larkin.

The event is free but pre-registration is required, and is limited to 20. Register online at The Institute’s website:

For more information, email to

Participants will provide their own transportation. Specific meeting and program details will be sent to participants following registration.

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