Sunday, July 28, 2013


The owlets are getting older but they are still playful.  Here they are playing with each others' feet.  You'll hear some annoyed chitters as one tries to get away and the other doesn't let go.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Owl Poetry

It seems we have some poets among the Rusty and Iris cam chatters!  I'd like to share the following fun poems with you:

critter oh critter
when you're gone we are bitter
cuz we need our cam sitter
and when when she's gone we send rose to git her

by teachcon

3 little P's perched by the wall
2 of which are having a ball
These little owls are as nosy as can beEach one ready to fly through the trees.
Meticulous grooming referred to as preeningIs what we humans think of as cleaning
Each little feather must be perfectly in place
To show all of us each beautiful face

by wyoranch

Pandora, Patience, Patrick and Iris all lined up on the door.
Rusty down below since there's no room for one owl more.
Five beautiful owls we are privileged to watch and see,
each one as unique as you and me.
Three little ones we have witnessed blossom and grow.
Their lives have touched ours more than they'll ever know.
What discoveries are yet to be made by these precious few?
Only time will tell but one thing is true,
Their calls and hoots began much younger than thought.
Karla has proof on tape - their voices have been caught!
Someday before long a new adventure awaits each,
their sole mission here was for them to teach.
Into the great outdoor world they will live and fly free,
to mate and to nest in their very own tree.
Their mission here will all too soon be complete.
Congratulations to all for this extraordinary feat.

by wyoranch

Monday, July 01, 2013

Mews Rebuild

We are planning to get a Barn Owl to add to the education staff at the Houston Nature Center as we anticipate growing into an International Owl Center.  The owl we will get contracted West Nile Virus last fall in southwest Wisconsin.  It recovered, but it blind in one eye, leaving it unable to survive in the wild.  It is being placed with us on my education permit.

The first gigantic order of business (besides the permit) is housing.  We had an old mews here I built for falconry back in 1996.  But back then arsenic was still used to treat lumber, so we didn't use treated lumber.  Needless to say it needed essentially a total rebuild.

Hein has put a lot of time into it in the past month or so, and I've helped some on my days off.  We hope to finish it in the next several days if all goes well.

The main sides are up.

Doors and windows in.

Adding a food tray and door.

It's even got electricity!

Electricity is important since Barn Owls have a tough time with our winters in southeast Minnesota.  We'll need to provide supplemental heat.  One other plus is that we can plug in a camera so we can watch the Barn Owl...especially important as it settles into its new home and is being trained.

Thanks to rehabber Dr. Laura Johnson for caring for the owl and offering it to us, and to rehabbers Merv and Sue Broten of Coulee Wildlife Rehab Center for caring for the owl until our facilities are ready.