Denver Holt

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Denver Holt is a wildlife researcher and graduate of the University of Montana. He is founder and president of the Owl Research Institute, a nonprofit organization located in Charlo, Montana. A dedicated field researcher in North and Central America, Denver believes that long-term field studies are the primary means to understanding trends in natural history.

Since 1978, Denver’s focus has been researching owls and their ecology. He has published numerous professional papers and technical documents, including four species accounts for the Birds of North America project. He was also team leader for the Strigidae family (owl) species accounts for The Handbook of the Birds of the World, Volume 5, covering 189 species of the world’s owls. In collaboration with elementary school teachers, he has co-authored two children’s science books on owls: Owls, Whoo Are They? and Snowy Owls: Whoo Are They?. In 2006 he was a chapter author on owls for the book Arctic Wings, highlighting the birds of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The foreword was written by former United States President, Jimmy Carter. In 2000, Denver was named Montana’s “Wildlife Biologist of the Year” by the Wildlife Society of North America.

Denver’s research has been acknowledged by the media, including a cover story for National Geographic Magazine in December 2002. His work has been the subject of many television bites on all the major networks, as well as featured on Audubon’s Up-Close series, PBS’s Bird Watch, Disney, and David Attenborough’s Life of Birds, among others. His research on Snowy Owls has been showcased on documentaries for National Geographic Explorer, NHK Natural History Unit of Japan, and the Norwegian Broadcasting Company Natural History Unit. His Snowy Owl research has been the focus of the British Broadcasting Company’s (BBC) documentary series, Frozen Earth, a sequel to the highly acclaimed Planet Earth series. In May 2011 and January 2012, Denver’s research was featured in the New York Times.  Also in 2011, Denver worked closely with a PBS documentary film crew featuring the breeding ecology of the Snowy Owl at his research site in Barrow, Alaska. The film, The Magic of the Snowy Owl, aired in 2012. Denver’s research on Snowy Owls in Barrow, Alaska was featured in the Spring 2015 issue of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology’s Living Bird magazine. Denver has also been the keynote speaker for several major bird festivals in the United States.