Learn to call barred owls with MDC Sept. 21 at Shaw Nature Reserve

News from the region
Saint Louis
Published Date

GRAY SUMMIT, Mo.—What are those unearthly sounds that you sometimes hear at night coming from the trees?  Raucous laughter . . . screaming monkeys . . . a singer with laryngitis?  Or it might be a barred owl.

Barred owls are common in Missouri’s woods, forests, parks, and even suburban neighborhoods.  They make a wide variety of sounds, and the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is holding a class that can teach you how to communicate with these nocturnal raptors.

Calling all Owls is a free program happening Tuesday, Sept. 21 from 6-8 p.m. at Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit.  It’s an opportunity to learn all about barred owls, what sounds they make, and how to duplicate those sounds with your own voice.  Attendees will then have a chance to try and call a barred owl into viewing distance for themselves.

“No guarantees, but it’s fun and exciting to try calling an owl and at least get it to respond,” said MDC Conservation Educator Conrad Mallady.  “Even if we aren’t successful on this night, you will leave with the knowledge and skills to try it on your own another time.”

Mallady reminds participants that this event will be held entirely outdoors.  The program will begin under a pavilion while still daylight and continue into the evening as night approaches.  Attendees should dress for the weather with footwear suitable for walking in the field, bring bug spray and water if desired, and a small flashlight or headlamp to use in the dark. 

Should the program be cancelled due to rain, the makeup will be Wednesday, Sept. 22 at the same time. 

Calling all Owls is open to anyone age 8 and up, but advanced online registration is required at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZCV.   Detailed directions to the program location will be emailed to participants prior to the program date.   Please provide a good phone contact in case of cancellation.

As this is an in-person activity, MDC asks all participants to observe current local social distancing and masking guidelines.  Bringing and wearing face coverings is encouraged when appropriate.

Program registrants should note that families now have the option to link their children’s accounts to their own which will streamline the program registration process.  Once a group account is set up, parents will be able to register their children to an event without having to logoff and login for each person.  This allows parents to register an entire family or select family members to an event at the same time.

Stay informed of MDC latest programs by going to the MDC St. Louis regional events page at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZP6.