There are currently two Owl Workshops available. Both take place in western Montana and are led by Owl Research Institute president and founder, Denver Holt; Research Director, Matt Larson; as well as ORI staff and/or highly qualified guides. 


May 3rd - 7th, 2018

Join biologist Denver Holt for five days of owl observation and research. The state of Montana holds the largest number of breeding owl species in any state in the United States. Fifteen species of owls occur in Montana, of which 14 species breed: Flammulated Owl, Northern Pygmy-Owl, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Boreal Owl, Eastern and Western Screech Owl, Burrowing Owl, Northern Hawk-Owl, Long-eared Owl, Short-eared Owl, Barn Owl, Barred Owl, Great Horned Owl, and Great Gray Owl. Snowy Owls can be seen somewhat regularly in the winter. With some luck, we will be able to observe 5 to 8 species of owls during the workshop.

During the workshop, you will observe biologists capture, band, weigh, and measure Long-eared owls as part of an ongoing long-term study conducted by the Owl Research Institute. We will also collect and dissect owl pellets in the field. We will take time to address questions about the natural history and adaptations of owls. One evening (weather permitting) will be used to “owl prowl” for Western Screech Owl and we will attempt to observe the sky-dancing courtship display of Short-eared owls.

There will be some light to moderate hiking involved in our quest for owls. We will systematically check woodpecker and natural cavities in trees for Northern Pygmy and Saw-whet owls. We will also check stick nests in tree groves and woody thickets for the other species of owls. Please remember that the schedule, locations, and numbers of owls can change, depending upon prey species populations and the timing and whereabouts of the owls.


April 20 - 25, 2018

Join researchers for four days of owl hooting, observation, and research. Montana boasts the largest number of breeding owl species of any state in the United States. Fifteen species of owls occur in Montana, of which 14 species breed: American Barn Owl, Flammulated Owl, Eastern Screech-Owl, Western Screech-Owl, Great Horned Owl, Barred Owl, Great Gray Owl, Northern Hawk Owl, Northern Pygmy-Owl, Burrowing Owl, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Boreal Owl, Long-eared Owl, and Short-eared Owl. Snowy Owls are regular winter visitors.

Our group will observe researchers of the Owl Research Institute who are conducting a long-term study of Long-eared Owls. They will capture, band, weigh, measure, and record other biological data. We will also search, collect, and dissect owl pellets in the field. ORI staff will discuss the natural history of Montana owls, and evolutionary adaptations in owls—how do owls hear, see, fly silently, camouflage, hunt, and other interesting facts. If the weather permits, we will venture out one evening to try and observe the elaborate courtship flight of the Short-eared Owl.

A unique learning experience with owl expert Denver Holt; good to very good accommodations and cuisine; good weather expected, but rain and snow possible.