Whoooo whoo who doesn’t love a wonderful owl prowl? Tonight’s Waterloo Region Nature Kids did just that. It began with Garrison giving a short talk about owls and their special adaptations that make them different from other birds. The eyes which give them excellent eyesight to help them see in the dark. The fact that they can rotate their heads quite well to help them see, though not all the way around as some people think. They have fabulous ears to hear their prey. Silent flight is a really special thing about the owl as well! Their talons help them to grip their prey, and the feathers near their talons help to keep their flight silent. The children learned that the owls spit up owl pellets which contain the undigested parts of their prey, the bones and fur. If you look on the ground in the forest you might see these pellets, and you will know that an owl has been there.
Rebecca was also there, and she brought along two stuffed owls for us to look at, the Eastern screech owl (such a little cutester!), and a great horned owl (a regal beauty!).
Next, it was showtime. We went out on the trails in the forest in search of owls. It was a lovely night, not too windy and plenty of moonlight. Garrison used his phone and a speaker to play owl calls. At our first stop, he started with a screech owl. Hmmm, nothing in response. Next up, the call of the great horned owl. And, no response again. Still, it was a lovely walk. The air crisp, we could see our breath, and the pine trees were producing a lovely Christmassy smell.
We had a few similar stops, but as we approached the hemlock trees in the forest, we struck owl gold. We heard a screech owl calling us back! Garrison told us it was a monotrill that we were hearing! Whatever, it was so amazing. There was more than one owl out there. We could hear at least two, maybe more. Some of us caught the ghost of a glimpse of the owls flying over our heads. And some were lucky enough to have seen one sitting in the tree.
All in all, it was a wonderful night. We certainly had a Superb-owl of a night (sorry, I couldn’t resist!). Later, back at the Nature Centre, Garrison confirmed this. He said that in all the years he spent running owl prowls, our night was one of the very best! So many owls. Whhhhhooooo-ray!
Special thanks to Linda for taking charge of the meeting while Marg was away, and to Garrison, Rebecca, and Jotham for leading the event. Finally, thanks to all of the families who attended. It was….a hoot!