“They do glide in once they home in on prey,” Walsh said. “Their feathers are designed to be quiet when they fly.”
The great horned owl is the biggest species that visits the sanctuary, while the saw-whet is the smallest. The creatures they hunt correspond to their size, Walsh said. But this time of year, owls are commonly eating meadow voles and white-footed mice on the property’s 2,000 acres.
“Great horned owls will consume skunks,” she said. “They have a terrible sense of smell.”
IF YOU GO
What: “Owl Prowl for Families”
When: Friday, March 13, 7 to 9 p.m.
Where: Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, 87 Perkins Row, Topsfield
Cost: Members, $8 adult, $7 child; nonmembers, $10 adult, $8 child. Open to families with children ages 5 and up.
Information: Dress warmly. Meet in the barn. Preregistration required at 978-887-9264 or www.massaudubon.org/ipswichriver.