A Long Eared Owl was discovered roosting in a grove of young trees at a Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association preserve in Montgomery County on February 6. Margaret Rohde, staff naturalist, made the observation while Nate Borger, a researcher from Delaware Valley University took the subsequent photograph. The Owl was discovered while WVWA staff and DelVal scientists were scouting and assessing wildlife habitat for mammals. The Long Eared Owl is an extreme rarity for southeastern Pennsylvania. The Game Commission consider it Threatened due to loss of habitat. According to the Pennsylvania Breeding Bird Atlas, only 11 reported sightings were made between the years of 2004-2008. The owl was observed perched in a tree about 6 feet above ground, motionless, but the excitement of the witnesses and their close proximity made the bird nervous. It flew east and out of sight, and could not be re-located. The finding of the Long Eared Owl raises speculation. Is a winter migrant waiting for spring time to return to its breeding location somewhere north or is it a local territorial bird that has been hidden only to be discovered now? If the Long Eared Owl turns out be part of a breeding pair, the WVWA will exert great caution as to not disturb the birds and minimize public access to ensure their survival.John Ferro, Manager of the WVWA’s Conservation Resources Program, states, “The discovery of the Long Eared Owl affirms that we are successfully managing our preserves for wildlife. The fact that it has found a home in our preserves makes it likely that it will return next year or that there could be more.