If you set foot on Belle Glade campus, you are bound to hear the question “Have you see the owls?” An invitation by Dean Goldstein, lead the Beachcomber to find out more.
Dr. Vetaley Stashenko, began the “Barn Owl Project” in 2012. His goal, to provide students the opportunity to apply “real world” experience to science, caught on quickly. “I saw students need a push, something extra to attract students,” said Professor Stashenko.
Professor Stashenko first had the idea when he saw a box on campus when he arrived. That box was built to address the problem with sugar field rats. But the two new nesting boxes, were built to last forever.
“If you provide the proper environment, (environmental) population will come,” said Dr. Stashenko on how they were able to attract the owls naturally. The Barn Owl Project is unique, no one else streams owls.
But the project is not just for science. “Students show their children and parents. It is slowly spreading, bringing community involvement,” and, continued Professor Stashenko, “students are using them in public speaking and writing classes. We have a libguide owl page.”
You too, can watch the owls. There are cameras in the nesting boxes that steam live online. The link is http://www.palmbeachstate.edu/programs/GladesBiology/owls.aspx. If you look carefully, you might just get a glimpse of a hatchling. Or, you might get to see dinner being served.
Just be very careful when you go to the website to watch the owls. Once you start, you keep going back for more.