Owl Festival

October 26-27, 2019
Close-up of a Northern Saw-whet Owl
Northern Saw-whet Owl

Saturday, October 26–Sunday, October 27
10:00 am-4:00 pm

Give a hoot for all things owl at Trailside's annual Owl Festival!

Meet live owls up-close and discover how these mysterious animals survive. Celebrate all things owl in myths, legends, and art. Find out about conservation challenges owls face and what you can do to help. 

Enjoy a day of family-friendly activities, kid's crafts, food trucks, and fun for all ages!


$6 Members • $8 Nonmembers

Cost is per person (adult or child). Registration not required—pay at the event.

All festival proceeds support Trailside's work to provide nature-based programs for the public, care for our non-releasable wildlife, and host thousands of visitors to the Blue Hills Reservation. 

Scheduled Activities

→ Programs take place indoors in the Museum's auditorium. 

Owl Storytime

10:30-11:00 am
Share a story about owls and meet a live owl! (Suitable for families with children ages 3 & up)

Pick Apart a Pellet 

11:00 am, 12:40 pm, 1:05 pm, 2:35 pm
What do owls eat? How do they chew their food? Find out by picking apart an owl pellet and assembling the puzzle of bones inside! Please reserve a spot in advance. (Suitable for families with children ages 7 & up)

Raptors are the Solution

Saturday at 11:30 am • Sunday at 3:00 pm
Gary Menin is the Director of the Massachusetts chapter of Raptors Are the Solution (RATS), and he'll tell us about the role of raptors in our ecosystem and the dangers of rodenticides to birds of prey and other wildlife. RATS is working to take anticoagulant and other poisonous rodenticides off the market and out of the food chain. (Suitable for all ages 12 & up) 

Inside the Tufts Wildlife Clinic

Sunday at 11:30 am
Dr. Maureen Murray is the Assistant Director of Tufts Wildlife Clinic. She'll tell us about the challenges and successes of working at a facility that treats over 3,000 sick and injured wild animals each year. Dr. Murray will also share some of the discoveries she’s made as part of her scientific research on the effects of rodent poisons in birds of prey. (Suitable for all ages 10 & up) 

The Littlest Owl

1:30–2:30 pm
Sanctuary Director Norman Smith will share his story about how helping his daughter with a school science project led to important discoveries and better understanding of the Saw-whet Owl—the smallest owl found in Massachusetts. Plus, get an up-close look at a live Saw-whet Owl! (Suitable for all ages 10 & up) 

"A Wing and a Care" Film Screening

Saturday at 3:00 pm
This short documentary follows three conservationists—including Trailside’s Norman Smith!—as they work to protect the birds they love and show how a single person can make a world of difference. A Q & A session with filmmaker Shawn Carey will follow the screening. (Suitable for all ages 10 & up) 

Festival Volunteers Needed!

Are you interested in volunteering to help us with this event? If so, please call 617-333-0690 or email us to get more information. Thank you!