Posted by: chlost | March 14, 2012

The owl show

This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to be treated to an “Owl Show”.

Burrowing Owl Image via Wikipedia

This event was focused on owls and raptors, although there were a few other birds included at the end of the show.

Once the presenter had changed into appropriate attire (a very striking red velveteen dress), the show began. Owls were ceremoniously brought into the show area in a small wagon. The birds were very well-behaved, sitting together in the wagon, which was covered to protect them during transport.

Each owl was carefully removed from the wagon as the presenter explained the details of each bird. Every owl was different. But all had very sharp claws which required that the presenter wear a large leather glove to protect her hand as she held each bird.

An audience member was allowed to hold the owl, but only with a protective glove.

The birds’ habits were carefully explained. The very knowledgeable presenter explained the names of the birds, both the species name as well as the presenter’s personal names for each- for example, the great-horned owl, named Katie; the barred owl named Sara. The presenter included much interesting information. Many of the birds eat mice, and one even eats skunks! Yuck! (That yuck was mine, the presenter was very professional when discussing the mice and skunk menu)  The presenter was quite patient with the audience of one-me-who insisted on asking questions.

There were many questions, but these young women were professionals.

There were approximately 8 owls. However, when the owl portion of the show appeared to be finished, there was a bit of a misunderstanding between the main presenter and a younger assistant.

The assistant felt that she had not been given a fair opportunity to do a presentation of an owl for the audience. There was a very loud discussion, some stamped feet; the primary presenter claimed to be very concerned that the birds’ claws would hurt the young assistant’s hands.

Finally the young assistant prevailed, with some intervention from the show’s owners, and the assistant handled a very cute baby owl. Of course, the older presenter made sure to insert information and corrections to the assistant’s presentation. But I must say that this young assistant did very well for her first showing. In fact, even the supervising presenter rather grudgingly commented “You did a very nice job, honey.”

Watching an assistant take over is challenging.

Once the showing of the owls was completed, I was treated to similar presentations for a loon baby named Luna, a cardinal named Red Bird, and a stork whose name I do not recall. I did learn that the stork had been rescued in Florida and these birds’ long beaks are used to eat fish from the ocean.

The Stork ("rescued" from Florida) Photo by Granddaughter H

Yes, in fact all of the birds had been rescued, many had broken wings and could not fly. All but the stork were local rescues other than the baby owls, who had been hatched from their rescued mom’s eggs.

All in all, it was a very informative and enjoyable show. I would recommend it to my friends.

In case you are curious, when I asked for details about that Florida rescue, I learned that Florida was “upstairs”. Who knew?



  1. It is nice that these injured birds not only are allowed to live but are able to teach us about their lives and habits.
    Interesting about the skunk. Didn’t think anything ate them..

    • You’re so right. My granddaughter was so impressed by this that she has taken on doing the “show” on her own. I was surprised that anything would eat a skunk, too=but granddaughter insisted this was so.

  2. Fun critters. I spent several years volunteering at the old Raptor Rehab at the U of M back in the late 70’s and early 80’s.Still have a few battle scars.

    • Husband went to school with the guy who started the Raptor Center-took and ornithology class with him. Then, many years later, Husband’s cousin married the guy.He’s now retired from there. Granddaughters visited the center. I think that is where the idea for the owl show originated. Oldest granddaughter has it down almost word for word.

    • Jon-I just can’t seem to make my comments be accepted on your blog. Any idea what I am doing wrong? It doesn’t recognize the security words.

      • Gary and Pat were there at the beginning. Gary died a few years ago, Pat must have retired by now. I continued rehab work up here for about 10 years. State and Federal permits were required and not easy to get.
        Don’t know why your comments aren’t accepted. I really dislike the security words they use. I’ll see if I can do anything about it.

  3. Great photos. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I love bird shows. And birds in general – especially raptors.

  5. A couple of months ago a rare Snowy Owl stopped by a local Albany (east of us) field to tank up on rodents while on it’s migration to it’s breeding grounds. This siting attracted a throng of birders, some flying in from California just to come and snap photos of the owl. My wife, being an avid birder, was among them. I saw the thing.. it’s huge!! Remarkable sighting.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: