It was a sunny day in Irvine and 16 Field Citizen Scientists were exploring an acorn woodpecker granary. One of them spotted a dead barn owl near an oak tree that belonged to a herd of acorn woodpeckers.
First they studied some facts about it. When they touched the wings they discovered it was very soft. Then they called OC vector control to see if it died of natural causes or West Nile virus. Here is their number if you ever need it: 714-971-2421 and here is their website https://www.ocvector.org
When Taylor, the person from the OC vector control, came. We gave him the dead barn owl, then we interviewed him. Taylor said that West Nile virus is not very common in the winter time, when we were there, it is more common in the summertime. He told us that he takes birds and insects apart to check for West Nile virus at his lab. We learned a lot.
By: Hamza Sidky Age 10
Update: The test results came back and the cause of death for the Barn Owl was unidentified.
The Art & Wilderness Institute Journalism Team are individuals who appreciate the world we live in and love to explore the myriad connections of all things in the world around us. We love to highlight the beautiful things we see in nature and to help others find ways to live with more connections to the outdoor world and the way it benefits us all.