Norman Smith Presents on a Lifetime of Work with Raptors and Owls

By Spencer Daniszewski ’21, #XBCorps

Norman Smith, the Director of the Blue Hills Trailside Museum and the Norman Smith Environmental Education Center, spoke to Xaverian students in January as part of a lecture series run by the science department.

The series, designed to expose students to a variety of career options, also features a businessman and a doctor this year.

Mr. Smith is the resident birds of prey expert at the Blue Hills Trailside Museum, an animal sanctuary in Milton, Massachusetts. The Museum has dedicated 7,000 acres of land toward conserving, studying, and helping animals such as hawks, owls, and otters. When not at the Museum, Norman can be found rescuing snowy owls from Logan Airport, as featured in PBS’s NOVA program. He is a self-taught naturalist who has worked for the Massachusetts Audubon Society since 1974. Norman is passionate about his research and the rescuing of birds and prey. He has rehabilitated and fostered more than 1,500 orphaned birds, and has ongoing long-term research projects include the trapping, banding, releasing, and tracking of a variety of migrating hawks and owls.

Mr. Smith provided Xaverian students with facts about birds of prey, and entertained with photographs of his and his family’s many encounters with these birds. His casual style and use of humor kept the students engaged and alert.

"He spoke about his job, some of his past experiments and work, and how he began as a bird researcher,” said Timothy Bowers ’21. "It was really interesting and I learned a lot,” he added.
A private, Catholic, college preparatory day school for boys in grades 7-12. The Boston area prep school offers a rigorous academic curriculum, a well-developed campus ministry program focused on faith, character, and leadership, and a proud athletic tradition featuring competitive Division 1 high school athletics in the Catholic Conference.