Sunday, March 7, 2010

Owl Presentation on Thursday

             For our local Anne Arundel county birders, and anyone nearby, or in town, please consider attending the Anne Arundel Bird Club's annual lecture this Thursday at Quiet Waters Park at 8 p.m. sharp. These lectures are always fascinating. Local environmental guru Gerald Weingrad always manages to score top-rank speakers. And this year's presentation is on one of our favorite subjects: Owls!

            Our Bird Club president Pat Tate wrote about about the AA Bird Club in a recent issue of the Annapolis Capital.

              Here's the scoop on the owls:


             Clay and Pat Sutton, a husband and wife team, will take viewers on an incredible journey exploring the world of owls. They are authors of many books on birds and nature, including How to Spot an Owl (1994) which is out of print and not available, and have intensively studied owls in the wild for 30 years. In their program they will relate their fascination with owls and convey the excitement of searching for, understanding, and enjoying these illusive and mysterious creatures. The behavior, mating, and hunting skills of owls will be examined as will how to spot these hard to find creatures. The presentation will cover many owl species: Resident owls (Great Horned, Screech, & Barred Owl), migrant owls (Saw-whet, Long-eared, Short-eared, Snowy, and Barn Owl), and owls that occur during "invasions" (Hawk Owl, Great Gray Owl, Boreal Owl). Owling basics, owling on your own, various clues to follow-up, special places and habitats, helpful equipment, and backyard owling will all be covered. Owling etiquette and how to spot owls without disturbing them is emphasized. Pat and Clay will remove some of the mystery of owls and owl finding, while simultaneously conveying the excitement of searching for and studying these difficult to see nocturnal predators. Bring your binoculars so you can find some hidden owls in the program.

Clay and Pat Sutton’s work and names are synonymous with their home town of Cape May, New Jersey, a place that has been aptly called the migration capitol of North America. This migratory crossroads is famous for its hawk, owl, songbird, shorebird, and Monarch butterfly migration. Pat Sutton was for 21 years the Program Director at the New Jersey Audubon Society’s Cape May Bird Observatory. Prior to that, she was the Park Naturalist at Cape May Point State Park. Pat is a founding board member of the North American Butterfly Association. Clay is a life-long resident of Cape May, where he has worked as an Environmental Program Administrator, Vice-President of an environmental consulting firm specializing in threatened and endangered species, and for the past decade as a self- employed environmental consultant, naturalist and field biologist.

Clay and Pat today are free-lance writers, naturalists, lecturers, tour leaders, and long-time instructors for the American Birding Association’s Institute for Field Ornithology. Clay is a co-author, with Pete Dunne and David Sibley, of the classic Hawks in Flight (1988), and Clay and Pat together have co-authored How to Spot Butterflies (1999), How to Spot Hawks & Eagles (1996), and their latest book, Birds and Birding at Cape May (2006). This landmark book is a complete guide to birds and birding for the Cape May region, covering what to see, when, where, and how to go, as well as the storied ornithological history of the Cape. Articles and photography by Pat & Clay have appeared in New Jersey Audubon, Peregrine Observer, New Jersey Outdoors, Sanctuary, American Butterflies, Wild Bird, Bird Watcher's Digest, Birder's World, Birding, Living Bird, Defenders, and others.

The Suttons will bring copies of some of their books to be purchased and autographed.


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