Flock Around the Block is the Ward Museum’s series of in-person, interactive bird walks for 1st-5th grade students and their families, which will take place at various parks throughout Salisbury, MD. With each month featuring a new theme and “Bird of the Month”, students will engage in a variety of bird-centered activities, learn the tips and tricks of bird identification, and participate in an official bird count. All activities are aligned to Next Generation Science Standards for 1st-5th grade. Join us as we dive into the world of birding and connect with our feathered friends living right in our own neighborhoods! All walks at all locations will follow recommended COVID-19 safety measures, and we ask all participants to wear masks and social distance when possible.
See below for our Flock Around the Block schedule and addresses for each location:
Bird of the Month: October 2021- Eastern Screech Owl
Identification: Big yellow eyes, a small body between 6 to 10 inches in height, and short “ear tufts” on its head. Two color morphs exist: one mostly grey with some white highlights and darker grey lines that contour down its body, and one brownish-red with darker brown lines.
Habitat: From forests to isolated groves to suburban yards. Locations with a good mix of open area to large trees.
Food: Large insects and small rodents (mice, bats, frogs, crickets, etc.)
Range: These non-migratory birds can be found across the central/eastern United States and northeastern Mexico.
These feathered friends are nocturnal in nature, most visible and active around dusk and through the dark hours of the night. The Eastern Screech Owl is easily confused with the Western Screech-Owls, but aside from occupying different ranges, the only way to differentiate the two is by looking at the color of the beak- greyish-green for the Eastern Screech and grey/black for the Western Screech. Contrary to the name “screech-owl”, they actually make soft trills or whine-like calls, which are often heard but they are usually never seen. Their small stature allows them to hide in small tree holes or in dense covered areas, while their coat provides even more camouflage for hiding during the day or hunting at night. During night hours, they post up on perches and occasionally hover the sky to hunt their prey. An Eastern Screech-Owl is quick to seize its prey. It’ll dive from above the trees and quickly rip is prey from the ground with its sharp talons, capture flying insects in a quick second, and eat smaller creatures whole with one quick scoop of its beak. Like most owls, the Eastern Screech-Owl’s fluffy feathers allow it to fly in near-silence, allowing it to sneak up on its prey. Learn more about the Eastern Screech-Owl at Flock Around the Block and Wing Watch!
This program is funded in part by the Chesapeake Bay Trust, and has been funded in part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under assistance agreement CB96341401 to the Chesapeake Bay Trust. The contents of this Program do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Environmental Protection Agency, nor does the Environmental Protection Agency endorse trade names or recommend the use of commercial products mentioned in this Video.