The Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art is committed to the research and conservation of animals and habitats in Pennsylvania. Below is a list of the current research and conservation projects happening at and around the Center that NSCNA is a part of.

Saw When owl Research

Since 1997, the Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art has been a leader in the effort to learn more about the northern saw-whet owl, the East’s smallest owl and one of its most charming wild animals.

Each autumn, the center’s team of trained researchers and volunteers harmlessly catch, band and release hundreds of these tiny raptors at three banding stations in central Pennsylvania, luring them into nearly invisible mist nets by playing a recording of the owl’s weird, tooting call. The center also plays a key role in coordinating an informal network of more than 120 owl banding stations across North America.

In the process, they’ve helped map the movements of a species so secretive that most avid birders have never glimpsed one – an owl that was, until recently, considered quite rare.

On this site you can learn more about these enigmatic birds, about the center’s on going research project, how to become a research volunteer, and how you can support the center’s work by adopting an owl yourself.

Also, check out the blog by project coordinator Scott Weidensaul, both updated regularly during the fall and winter research season.

Watch some exciting videos about owl banding by clicking here!

project snowstorm

The Ned Smith Center is the institutional home of Project SNOWstorm, one of the largest and most ambitious snowy owl research studies in the world. Since 2013, more than 40 scientists, banders, wildlife veterinarians and pathologists, have been studying the winter ecology of these huge raptors when they come south from the Arctic. To date, more than 70 snowy owls, from the Dakotas to New England, have been tagged with high-tech GPS transmitters, providing an unprecedented look into the biology of these magnificent hunters.

To donate to Project SNOWstorm click here.

For more information:


The monarch butterfly is in serious trouble. Do YOU want to help?

Due to pesticides, habitat loss and global climatic change, the monarch butterfly is facing some big challenges.

Click here to learn more about monarch butterflies!

The Center is planning to start an “Adopt-a-Monarch” program that would teach children and adults how to raise and release the insects.

Click here to learn more about the Adopt-A-Monarch program and steps you can take to help monarchs.

Thank you for your interest!