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Discover the Grounds: Owls with Mitchell Pruitt

Bellows/Cassatt Rooms
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owl on a tree branch

Come learn about Arkansas owls, bird migration, and how bird banding has changed the way we study birds! A part of Nature Weekends at Crystal Bridges, in this free talk you’ll meet avian ecologist Mitchell Pruitt and learn about his research  and the vital role bird banding and tracking plays in learning about local wildlife. You’ll get an inside look at some of the ecological research happening right here in the Ozarks, and find out how you can get involved studying our feathered friends through citizen science.

Free, tickets required. Reserve your spot online or with Guest Services at (479) 657-2335 today.

About the Instructor

Man holding an owl

Mitchell Pruitt is a PhD student working under Dr. JD Willson in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Arkansas. He studies dispersal movement (migration) in owls of North America. Mitchell primarily studies the Northern Saw-whet Owl, but has broad interests in other birds of prey as well. During his master’s under the late Dr. Kimberly Smith, he studied Northern Saw-whet Owls in the Arkansas Ozarks. Prior to the beginning of this research in 2014, the saw-whet owl was virtually unknown to Arkansas except for 13 historic records. After seven years of migration study, the species is now understood to be a regular fall migrant throughout the Ozark Highlands ecoregion; and after two years of radio telemetry study, the species is considered winter resident in upland pine forest in northwest Arkansas. When he’s not in the field or in the lab, you might catch Mitchell with binoculars and camera in hand, travelling wherever the birds take him!

Per the CDC’s updated guidelines, we are now requiring all guests ages 2 and up and staff to wear a face covering indoors and while attending outdoor programs, except while eating or drinking. Masks will be available upon entry for those who do not have one.