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Calling All Short-eared Owl Enthusiasts!

Kurt Lindsay photo, Short-eared Owl, Montana

Attention Short-eared Owl Enthusiasts – we need your help!

The Owl Research Institute is recruiting Montana-based volunteers for Project WAfLS (Western Asio flammeus Landscape Study) – an eight-state program designed to assess the population status, trends, and threats against the Short-eared Owl, an enigmatic, open-country species.

Project WAfLS engages enthusiastic citizen-scientist volunteers across the west to gather critical survey data, enabling a rigorous assessment of the status of this species. Our results directly influence high-value conservation actions by state and federal agencies, and our volunteers are rewarded with training and experience in critical observation, the scientific method, data collection, and regularly report unique and exciting observations.

Volunteers will complete two 90-minute surveys where they will visit multiple points. At each point, the volunteer will get out of their vehicle and survey the area for Short-eared Owls for five minutes, take some quick notes about the habitat surrounding the point, and then move on to the next point. We welcome new participants and provide all training and materials required for success.

Project WAfLS is in the second year of a three-year study, and conducts coordinated surveys across California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. ORI is the state coordinator for Montana only.

If you are interested in learning more, or to sign-up for an area in Montana, please contact Matt Larson, State Coordinator, at

Even if you cannot participate, PLEASE SHARE THIS PAGE to ensure enough volunteers for this important project are recruited! Thank you!

Short-eared Owl © Kurt Lindsay.

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