Virginia was beautiful! It had a lot of hills, so it was hard to drive up. But, it was worth it!
We banded saw-whet owls and learned a lot about them. Like how you can tell how old they are by their feathers, which show bright red under a blacklight the younger they are.
If you look into it’s ears, you can see the back of there eyes and brain! it was a little creepy. The owls would stare at you, and when you move your hand, their head would follow you all the way around.
Owls can hear really well. And, they fly silently. If you find a saw-whet owl, they are so docile, you can grab them off the branch! That isn’t how we caught them, because it is really hard to find them that way. The way they did it was they put up a net and a speaker behind it that had a recording of the call the owls make. So the owls fly to the noise and get stuck in the net. Then, whoever wants to come goes and gets the owls out of the net at the top of the hill and brings them down in a bag. They would see how old they were, record all their measurements, and then release them back to the wild. It was really cool!
At the place we were staying, Highland Retreat Center, there was a big swing that went out and over the edge of the mountain. Juliet leaned way back and let go as she did it! We all got scared but it was a seat that had buckles on it, luckily.
We had an awesome time visiting with family there and just exploring the area. Now, we had to move to the warmth, so this was our last trip East – now we will go South!