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Owl Awareness Day

OWL AWARENESS! How exciting! Who doesn’t love owls? We sometimes see owls, we know what they look like, but what do we really know about them? We’ve put together a list of facts so you and your little ones can get to know owls better.

 

  • There are around 200 different species of owls.
  • Owls are nocturnal, which means they are active at night.
  • A group of owls is called a parliament—which got its name from C.S. Lewis’ description of a meeting of owls in The Chronicles of Narnia. How cool is that?!
  • They are farsighted (which means they can’t see things that are close to their faces very clearly.)
  • Their eyes are not eyeballs in the way that we know our own to be. Their eyes are tube-shaped and completely immobile, which provides them with binocular vision. It allows them to fully focus on their prey and boosts their depth perception.
  • BUT since they can’t move their eyes, they have to move their entire heads to see. It’s OK though: Owls can turn their heads 270 degrees. That’s almost all the way around! Whoa!
  • When it comes to flight, owls are very quiet compared to other birds of prey.
  • They are insanely good hunters who use their powerful claws, known as talons, to help them catch and kill prey.

So WHOOOO are some of these curious creatures?

  • The Northern Hawk Owl can detect (primarily by sight) a vole (a small rodent) to eat up to a half a mile away.
  • Barn Owls swallow their prey whole, like skin, bones, and all everything! And they eat up to 1,000 mice each year.
  • The tiniest owl in the world is the Elf Owl. It is 5 – 6 inches tall and weighs about 1 ½ ounces. The Great Gray Owl is the largest owl by appearance alone in North America. It is up to 32 inches tall.
  • Not all owls hoot! Who knew! Barn Owls make a hissing sound, the Eastern Screech-Owl whinnies like a horse, and Saw-whet Owls live up to their name by sounding like a saw being sharpened.

If any of those facts has made your young reader a little more interested in WHO owls are, and WHAT they like to do, we have some picture books you can enjoy together.

 

Oliver the Curious Owl

by Chad Otis

Oliver the owl questions anything and everything in this charmingly funny story that asks who, what, when, where, and why! The only question Oliver’s family ever asks is Who? Who? Who? But he wants to know more:

Who lives in those faraway woods?

Where does the river go?

Why can’t I leave our tree?

When his curiosity gets the better of him, Oliver — and his best buddy, Bug — travel far from the safety of home to get answers about the wonderful world they live in. But after a day of exploration, how will the friends find their way back?

 

Good Night Owl

by Greg Pizzoli

Will Owl ever get a good night’s sleep? He’s ready for bed, but as soon as he settles in, he hears a strange noise. He looks everywhere — in his cupboard, underneath the floorboards — even in his walls. He’ll never get to sleep unless he can figure out what’s going on! But as he’s busy tearing his house apart, he doesn’t notice one tiny, squeaky, mouse-shaped detail — the culprit!

 

I Have a Balloon

by Ariel Bernstein; illustrated by Scott Magoon

Owl has a balloon. Monkey does not. What will happen next? Hint: this is not a book about sharing. “That red balloon matches my shiny red tie,” says Monkey. “I’d look fancy walking to school with a shiny red balloon. The only thing I’ve ever wanted, since right now, is a shiny, big red balloon. It would make me SO HAPPY!” But Owl does not want to give it to him. So Monkey tries to find something that Owl wants: a teddy bear, a robot, a picture of TEN balloons. Owl does not want any of these things. But then, Monkey offers him…a sock!
Hmmmmm…Owl is intrigued. Will he trade his shiny red balloon with Monkey?

 

Little Owl’s Snow

by Divya Srinivasan

Little Owl experiences his first snow and first winter in this perfect follow-up to Little Owl’s Night and Little Owl’s Day! “Winter’s almost here!” says Little Owl, as he observes leaves falling, animal friends hibernating, and a chill from his feathers to his feet. And just as he and his friend raccoon are watching their breath make fog in the cold air, it happens: Snow! This is a wonderful introduction to the changing of the seasons!

 

Owl Love You

by Matthew Heroux; illustrated by Wednesday Kirwan

The sun is setting, time to rise! At dusk, when an owl’s day is just beginning, a baby owl asks questions and a mama owl offers comforting answers in this gentle, reverse bedtime book, featuring lulling, lyrical text and luminous illustrations of the nighttime world.

Illustrations and simple rhyming text reveal many ways to show love as a mother owl promises to play with, teach, protect, and care for her baby from sunset to sunrise.