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Q & A with Denver Holt

This is an interview from 2017 that I thought I'd refresh. :) When it comes to documenting change in the natural world, Denver Holt has some data to fall back on. He has studied owls in the wild for over 30 years and is one of world’s leading experts. The founder and lead researcher of the Owl Research Institute (ORI) answers questions about the research and conservation. You’ve been studying owls for a very long time. Does the research ever get monotonous? Not at all, things constantly change. Look at it this way. Its August. I know the arctic shorebirds are migrating, so the past couple days I’ve been going out early and trying to find some mud to see if they are coming through. I don't fo

Fill Our Cup - Get a Cup! Handmade ORI mugs

Help fill our funding cup & we'll send you a very special cup in return! In celebration of our 30th year Anniversary at the Owl Research Institute, we are raising our cup to generous donors like you! While supplies last, if you help 'fill our cup' by making a donation of $130 or more, we'll send you a cup in return! It's our way of saying thank-you for making owl research and conservation a priority in your life - and celebrating this important 30-year milestone for the Owl Research Institute! Much more than just a cup - it's a one-of-a-kind Owl Research Institute logo mug, hand-thrown and kiln-fired at Whitefish Pottery in western Montana. Chose from four beautiful colors. Consider adding s

Injured Great Horned Owl Response

Last Friday morning, ORI intern and Social Media Coordinator Brooklin Hunt received a call regarding a potentially-injured owl on a roadway near her home. “The poor guy is just sitting in the middle of a road in a puddle of water. He won’t even move,”, the caller explained, “I’m worried he will get ran over!”. Recognizing this as unusual owl behavior, Brooklin hurried to the scene with hopes to move the owl to safety. Sure enough, the owl - a Great Horned Owl - was injured: the right pupil was severely damaged, several tail feathers were missing, the bird was soaking wet and just seemed to be having a hard time holding on. On top of it all, the owl was very docile; owls are wild creatures, a

Thank-you Eskimos, Inc. Powersports - You Guys Rock!

A BIG shout out to Eskimos, Inc. Powersports of Barrow, Alaska for giving us a great deal on our new four wheeler - a fantastic 2018 Polaris Sportsman 1000 ATV! In addition to a generous price break, they have offered to do the maintenance, supply specialized gear, and store the ATV during the off season! These guys are awesome! For the owners of Eskimos, Inc, it was important that we've been coming back 27 years; that we've hired several Inupiat kids over the years; published a Snowy Owl book for children that was dedicated to the people of Barrow; and immersed ourselves in the community - forming connections, friendships and investing in the area. They did their research and decided the Ow

NEON Volunteers on the Snowy Owl Project

The extreme climate and unique ecological conditions of Barrow, Alaska make it a place of interest for researchers from around the world and from a variety of disciplines. When weather is bad or the tundra is inaccessible, these down-times lend themselves to learning about the research of others, exchanging information and ideas, and helping each other out with projects. Rachel Pernick and Mark Mullinger are researchers from the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON). When late spring conditions delayed their phenology monitoring (the reproductive timing of plants), they volunteered to help Denver with nest monitoring. As you can imagine, they were very excited to be able to peer int

First Snowy Owl Hatch of the Season Discovered

Deep snow, cold, and then runoff saw the Snowy Owl season off to a challenging start, but the tundra continually becomes more and more accessible. Today, lead researcher Denver Holt discovered the season's first hatch. Another egg in this nest displays a fracture, or pip, indicating a second hatch will likely be within the day. A female Snowy Owl lays her eggs asynchronously - not at the same time. She usually lays four to eight round, white eggs; one every two to three days. This means that the oldest chick may hatch up to two weeks sooner than the youngest chick.

Snowy Owl Nesting on the Arctic Tundra

Following is a FB post from Melissa Groo, a wildlife photographer who has been working with Denver Holt in Alaska. Melissa is on assignment with Smithsonian magazine photographing Snowy Owls for a story on our climate change project. Melissa describes her experience in this fantastic bit of writing. Follow Melissa on FB to see her incredible body of wildlife photography here: https://www.facebook.com/melissa.groo Iphone shot of the back of my camera this morning, in a blind. A few hours ago, at midnight here in Utqiagvik, Alaska, I walked almost a mile over spongey patches of tundra, waded through kneehigh water, and postholed through still-deep snow in places. I was wearing six layers of

Visions from the Arctic - Snowy Owl nests

Researcher Matt Larson took these photos on the week of June 27th in the Alaskan Arctic. He has located several nests in our study area and we are encouraged that it may be a strong nesting season.

Snowy Owl Nesting Season Underway

Each year, the start of the Snowy Owl breeding season triggers a migration for the Owl Research Institute. Like clockwork, lead researcher Denver Holt and crew head to the Alaskan Arctic to conduct the Snowy Owl Breeding Ecology and Lemming Population Study - a project now in its 27th year. Researcher Matt Larson arrived in Utqiaġvik (formerly Barrow) last week to get logistics in order, survey for nests, and identify study sites. Denver will arrive in two weeks to begin research and monitoring. While the study was initially developed to evaluate the predator-prey relationship between the Snowy Owl and Brown Lemming – the owl’s primary food source - it has evolved to address a host of resear

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We welcome all media inquiries. If you are a credentialed member of the media and wish to set up an interview or request further information, please e-mail liberty@owlresearchinstitute.org.



We are so grateful to the photographers who capture owls, and our work, in the most amazing ways. They generously share their work with us, and you. Check out the works of some of the photographers whose work is featured on our site! They are incredible talented artists who are committed to wildlife conservation.

Thank you to:

Kurt Lindsay: https://kurtlindsay.smugmug.com/Nebulosa/i-7D8Wh9d

Daniel J Cox: http://naturalexposures.com

Radd Icenoggle: https://www.flickr.com/photos/radley521

Melissa Groo: https://www.melissagroo.com

Ly Dang: https://www.nature2pixels.com

Tom Murphy: https://www.tmurphywild.com/

Deborah Hanson



The ORI is a non-profit, 501(c) 3, tax-exempt organization. We are funded by individual and non-profit  group donations, grants from foundations and corporations, and occasionally agency contracts.

We accept donations of real property. Please consider us in your estate planning.

Donations are tax-deductible to the extent of the law. Our federal tax identification number is 81-0453479.





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