Black Lights and Owls IX
June 1, 2016
For the ninth year in a row, Black Light and Owls (BLO) recently drew a wonderfully engaged crowd of citizen scientists out to the Rice Rivers Center and the USFWS Harrison Lake National Fish Hatchery. A collaboration between Dr. Art Evans and Anne Wright, VCU Rice Rivers Center Director of Outreach Education, BLO was initiated as an advanced training opportunity for volunteers from chapters of the Virginia Master Naturalists program. It is a great opportunity to learn more about how insect sampling is done, to learn the identification and natural history information about the bug species that come to the lights, and have the chance to practice insect and macro photography. Insects collected add to the Rice Rivers Center reference collection of insects being amassed by Dr. Evans.
On May 28, approximately 80 people participated, with about a third of them camping out at the Rice Rivers Center for the evening. The event is held overnight because the lights draw different suites of species every few hours from dusk to dawn. Around midnight, three barred owls responded to calls made by Wright. Additionally, a number of frog species were active and calling, giving the Master Naturalist members a chance to practice their frog call identifying skills.
For more information on the Master Naturalist program: http://www.virginiamasternaturalist.org/