What a Hoot!

Last Friday my wife and I were invited up to Galena Creek Park just outside of Reno, Nevada, to participate in a program designed to inform the general public and educators about the learning opportunities provided there by the Great Basin Institute. In addition we witnessed the release of 8 owls into the wild – 4 Great Horned Owls and 4 Barn Owls. These were owls that were cared for and rehabilitated by The Wild Animal Infirmary For Nevada.

DSC01266A Barn Owl ready for release.







A screeching Barn Owl – not more than 6 months old about to be released into the wild:

As I watched each owl being released I couldn’t help but think about creative writing assignment ideas. Mostly about how students could research the daily habits of barn owls and/or great horned owls and then write stories (which could easily become blog posts, podcasts, and so much more) about the experience from the point of view of an observer or from the owl itself.

A Great Horned Owl being released:

I’d brainstorm with my students what the owl would experience in being orphaned or injured. The rehabilitation experience. Then being in the box on the way to the park, being taken out of the car … sitting waiting to be released (is the owl aware of what is about to happen … or not?). Then being released … at dusk … its getting dark … is that scary for a young owl … or an adventure? You’ve never been on your own before … what is happening … you land in a tree not far from where you were released … what do you see, think, do?

You’ve got that incredible vision … what do you see? What could be scary? Fun? Interesting? …. So many possibilities.

It was a great night.

Photo of the sky that nightDSC01268






Link to the Flickr photo/video set of more owl releases.

Learning is messy!

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