The final lecture in the 2015 South Mountain Speakers Series will feature North America’s smallest and most mysterious owl on November 12 in Shippensburg.
Award-winning author and respected natural historian Scott Weidensaul will discuss his ground-breaking research on the migration patterns of northern saw-whet owls
“Living on the Wind: Tracking Northern Saw-Whet Owls Migrating Along South Mountain,” is being presented at 7 p.m. at Memorial Auditorium, Shippensburg University.
“Because saw-whet owls are shy and secretive, they had been overlooked in research efforts and have long been considered rare or uncommon in many regions, including Pennsylvania,” said Katie Hess, director of the South Mountain Partnership. “Recent research made possible by bird banding, tracking technologies, and local volunteers reveals that its important habitat range extends as far south as South Mountain.”
Weidensaul, a Pennsylvania native and resident, has written more than two dozen books on natural history. His newest book, The Peterson Reference Guide to Owls of North America and the Caribbean, has just been released, as was The Living Bird, a collection of stunning photos and essays that includes his work, marking the 100th anniversary of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
The lecture is free and open to the public.
The annual South Mountain Speakers Series is envisioned as a revival of the talks given by Joseph Rothrock in the late 19th century as part of his work to preserve and restore Pennsylvania’s forests and natural landscape.
The South Mountain Partnership is a public-private partnership between DCNR and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and has grown into a coalition of citizens, businesses, non-profit organizations and government representatives in Adams, Cumberland, Franklin and York counties, working together to protect and enhance the South Mountain landscape.
South Mountain is at the northern end of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Communities in the 400,000-acre region have thrived off fertile limestone agricultural lands, the timber that fed iron furnaces, plentiful game and wildlife, and abundant pure spring water that is captured by the mountains’ permeable soils and released into the valleys.For more information about the speakers series, visit the South Mountain Partnership website or call the Appalachian Trail Conservancy at 717-258-5771.