Give a hoot


Owl talk scheduled for Pine Mountain

By Kelsey Gerhardt - [email protected]



Photo submitted Mitch Whitaker, master falconer with the Letcher County Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center, displays a great horned owl. Whitaker will be presenting during the Owl Prowl at Pine Mountain State Resort Park on Nov. 28 at 7 p.m.


Creatures of the night will be all the rage at the Owl Prowl at Pine Mountain State Resort Park. The event is set for Nov. 28 at 7 p.m. and will feature a guest speaker about this important bird of prey.

Mitch Whitaker, a master falconer with the Letcher County Wildlife and Rehabilitation and Education Center will be giving an educational talk about owls and the important role they have in local ecosystems.

“Owls are unique in that they are nocturnal raptors, meaning they hunt at night, helping to balance and keep prey populations, such as mice and rodents, in check,” said PMSRP Program Services Supervisor Beth Byrnes.

Whitaker will have a live owl — which will give everyone in attendance the opportunity to see them safely and up-close. He will be correcting common misconceptions about the bird — including information about their unique head swivel.

“The most common misconception about owls is that they can rotate their head all the way around. They do have the ability to rotate their head much further than humans, thanks to a few unique adaptations, but owls can actually only turn their head about 270 degrees, not the full 360,” said Byrnes.

After the educational talk viewing guidelines will be given and visitors will have a chance to be outdoors and caravan to an older section of the park in search of an owl in the wild.

“I hope people come away from the event with a greater knowledge of the owl species we have in Kentucky, a better understanding of owl behavior and their unique adaptations and the role they play in the environment. Most of all, I hope it peaks their interest and sends them searching for more,” said Byrnes.

Byrnes suggests visitors bring a flashlight or headlamp, dress warmly for the weather and bring binoculars.

For more information, contact the park at 606-337-3066.

Reach Kelsey Gerhardt at 606-302-9093 or on Twitter @kgerhardtmbdn.

Photo submitted Mitch Whitaker, master falconer with the Letcher County Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center, displays a great horned owl. Whitaker will be presenting during the Owl Prowl at Pine Mountain State Resort Park on Nov. 28 at 7 p.m.
http://harlandaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web1_OwlProwl.jpgPhoto submitted Mitch Whitaker, master falconer with the Letcher County Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center, displays a great horned owl. Whitaker will be presenting during the Owl Prowl at Pine Mountain State Resort Park on Nov. 28 at 7 p.m.
Owl talk scheduled for Pine Mountain

By Kelsey Gerhardt

[email protected]

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