Thursday, November 20, 2008

How to goose a great horned owl

It's not often I go so long without a post. Busy, busy.

Two programs today...on opposite sides of town.

The great horned owl really stole the show. This morning's program was at a Catholic School, and the audience was about 200 6th-8th graders.

We were discussing food items of GHOW, where they live, etc. Sylvester then stuck out his ruff (white feathers on neck), and I wondered if he was going to hoot. He has been a bit of a punk lately (like bating multiple times, being a general grouch instead of his usual totem-pole act), maybe because nesting season is approaching. But I haven't noticed behavior changes in him until mid-to-late December. This is pretty early for his hormones to be moanin'.

So, anyway. I told the kids he might be getting ready to vocalize.
Then he opened his mouth and his tongue was sort of stuck out. I suddenly realized that he was about to cast a pellet.


"Oh, boy. Okay, everyone. Watch this. He is about to produce a...."
SPLAT.
"...pellet."
He has never done that during a program before. It was fabulous.


The only other time a bird has yarped during a talk was when Lucy brought up a whole mouse head and I caught it with my free hand as it fell. It was fabulous.

14 comments:

LauraHinNJ said...

Your typical work day sounds way more interesting than mine.

:-)

Stacy said...

sounds brilliant! wish i could've seen that first hand!

KGMom said...

I am giggling at Laura's comment.
Just another day at the orifice!

Dave said...

Ghost has only done that at a presentation twice. You sure get a lot of different reactions from the crowd. Cool, eewwww, yuck, what the heck was that, is he sick? hehehe

NatureWoman said...

O. M. G. That is *awesome* Susan!!! The only thing I get to watch come out of mouths is, well, you know what.
LOL to Laura's comment!

NCmountainwoman said...

What a hoot. The kids will expect that every time.

Joy said...

I wish I could've seen that! Amazing!

troutbirder said...

Having spent a number of years with middle school student I visualize your audience going wild. Your hit them at the level where they live. Amazing!!!

RuthieJ said...

Too funny Susan! I bet there were a lot of 6th grade boys that really appreciated that pellet production!

Lynne said...

No way!! I wish I had been there. I still have an owl pellet on my dresser that we found last spring. Maybe I'll shellac it and make some jewelry for a certain friend...

Mel said...

WOW!! And I'm stuck in an office with no windows :(

Kallen305 said...

HA! I wish I could have seen it. I too am stuck in an office all day and the biggest excitment I get is when someone brings donuts in on Fridays.

Mary said...

Perfect timing for a perfect lesson. Doesn't get much better than that, does it, Susan?

I'm clapping!

Kathiesbirds said...

Did you tell him Thank You! I bet the kids loved it! Let's see, if we can get 200 kids to care about owls....perhaps we CAN change the world! Way to go Susan!