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Mark your calendars for ORI’s Public Owl Banding Night

Join us on Tuesday, October 5 to celebrate 10 years of Northern Saw-Whet Owl Fall Migration banding!

A person holding a captured northern saw-whet owl. Only their hands are shown.

We invite you to join ORI researchers at our banding station in Missoula, MT, and learn about how we band and study Northern Saw-Whet Owls as they head south on their fall migration.

There will be informal presentations by Denver Holt and other ORI staff about ORI’s research as well as information about owls in general and their behaviors and natural history. Come with your owl research questions- we love to share our work with the public!


The banding trailer at night, lit from within. It is just after sunset, so the clouds in the sky are pink, and the background is dark.

Location: Maclay Flats parking lot. Our trailer will be parked near the entrance to the trail, and will have lighted tables set up along side it.

Date: Tuesday Oct. 5 (make up rain day: Wed. Oct. 6)

Time: Arrive beginning at 7:15 p.m. Feel free to arrive and leave at your convenience, but the programming will start around 7:30 p.m. The station is typically open until 1 or 2 a.m., depending on weather and other factors.

If the banding station is closed due to weather, we will post updates on our website and social media (Facebook and Instagram).

About the location: The Maclay Flats parking lot is completely paved, and our banding station trailer and tables will be set up on the pavement. There are no lights in the parking lot, so we do recommend that guests bring their own light to safely walk to-and-from their car to the station. Guests will only need to get from their cars to our trailer on the edge of the parking lot, so there is minimal walking involved. There are accessible bathrooms (also unlit) and van accessible parking places.

All events will take place outside, so please dress accordingly. Masks and social distancing recommended. We want this event to be as safe as it can be for all. Thank you for helping us make that possible.


If you are unable to attend but still want to learn about Northern Saw-Whet Owls and what happens at ORI’s banding station, we will be sharing some short videos later in October to coincide with Birdability Week (Oct. 18-24, 2021).

Three northern saw-whet owls are held by researchers at the banding station. They are lit by the light of a headlamp, and only the hands of the researchers are visible.

We hope to see you at Maclay Flats on October 5th – or online later in the month!


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