If you love owls, the Forest Preserve is offering several owl-related programs this winter to help you search for these amazing predators in the wild and learn more about them.
To whet your appetite, you can visit the “Only Owls” art exhibition at Isle a la Cache Museum through December 29. The exhibit features 40 pieces of owl-themed art in pencil, charcoal, ink, watercolor, and woodcut from the Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin.
Then dive into owl programs and hikes that are scheduled for different locations and age groups. Here are the winter 2020 owl programs:
Hoot in the New Year – 7-9 p.m. Friday, January 3, and 4-6 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Saturday, January 4, Hickory Creek Preserve – LaPorte Road Access. Celebrate the New Year by joining a naturalist-led hike to search for owls and discover more about these incredible predators. Enjoy a fire, hot cocoa and marshmallows. Bring your favorite mug and camping chair to sit by the fire. The 7 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday hikes are for all ages; the 7 p.m. Saturday hike is for ages 16 or older. Registration is required; call 708.946.2216.
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Owl Hike for Families – 6-8 p.m. Friday, January 24, Four Rivers Environmental Education Center. Meet inside the visitor center for a brief introduction. Then, head outside to explore McKinley Woods as we quietly listen for this magical and elusive bird. Free; all ages. Register by Wednesday, January 22; call 815.722.9470.
Owl Hike for Adults – 6-8 p.m. Saturday, January 25, Four Rivers Environmental Education Center. Meet inside the visitor center for a brief introduction. Then, head outside to explore McKinley Woods to search for owls. Free; ages 18 or older. Register by Thursday, January 23; call 815.722.9470.
Hoot Hike – 6-7 p.m. Friday, February 7, Isle a la Cache Museum. Discover wHoo is a regular nighttime visitor at Isle a la Cache. Find out about owls – including what to look and listen for – and then go on a hike in search of our feathered friends. A naturalist will help the group explore owl habitat and keep ears attuned to owl calls. Free; all ages. Registration is required; call 815.886.1467.
Online registration also is available for each program via the Event Calendar. All program hikes are 1.5 miles or less in length over natural, uneven terrain.
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