Years ago a friend of mine (Dave) found a young owl in the woods. It had been hurt and was unable to fly. Dave brought the little owl to his home, where he built it a small comfortable shelter. Dave is a very caring person. His gentle manner and abundance of patience give him a natural way with animals. He formed a bond with the owl and over several weeks, nursed it back to health. We were all happy when it was released back to its natural habitat. It usually isn’t wise to take on this kind of responsibility, but Dave is an outdoorsman and well educated in animal behavior.
Ever since that experience I have been enamored with owls! It so happens, my married name translates loosely to “little owl” in German. My home is scattered with collectibles of owls that I have been given or were discovered in my travels!
Types of Owls
Did you know that there are 216 owl species in the world? Some, about 18, belong to the Barn Owl family, while the rest are of the Typical Owl family. You can tell the difference between the two families by looking at the shape of their face. The Barn Owl has a distinct heart shaped face, while the Typical Owl’s face is round.
I don’t think I have ever seen a Barn Owl in the wild, but I remember the Great Horned Owls who nested in a tree at my mother-in-law’s house. Every spring they delighted us with two fuzzy owlets! The other owl I fondly remember is the little Burrowing Owl that sat on my fence post blinking its eyes. When it was startled it would fly into a little hole in the ground. Forever etched in my memory is the soft, synchronized hoo–hoo–hoo of unidentified owls communicating in the dark of night.
Owls have been part of folklore for many years, symbolizing, among other things, wisdom, guidance and good fortune.
Not all owls adapt to the same living habits or habitats. Different owl types exhibit different types of behavior. If you want to learn more about all of the owl families, as I do, visit this informative sight and have fun exploring the wonderful world of owls: The Aviary at Owls.com.
Questions to Think About …
- What owl family do you think Little Owl would be from if she lived in the real world?
- Which owl families are indigenous to your state?
- What do you think the word “indigenous” means?
- Have you ever seen an owl near your home? Do you know what kind it was?
- If you found an injured owl or any other bird, what would you do? Today there are many animal shelters and rehab centers with qualified caretakers. Would it be best to contact them?
Wesley The Owl, by Stacey O’brien, is a must read for you and your parents! Learn more about this endearing story at: WesleyTheOwl.com.