26 March 2007

Zoology

We've been continuing our look at various animals. After finishing up rodents we moved on to owls.

Owls were not a planned stop on our tour of the animal kingdom. The local park department happened to have several owl programs, though, so we decided to attend one:



Wow! Owl pellets to dissect. Who knew? Kid2 commented that is was a little like doing a mouse dissection, given all the little bones we found.

The park department also had owl wings to investigate, owl talons, and a large stuffed owl. This was all pretty cool, given that it's illegal for the rest of us to own even a feather of a raptor. We were able to fan the wings through the air and consider the silent flight, to touch the talons and consider the death-grip, and try to match the owl's pose (our necks weren't nearly flexible enough).

Kid2 and I followed up by reading an article on owl families in the March 2007 issue of Ranger Rick. Kid1 read the book Owl Puke , which comes with yet another pellet to dissect (yippee, we're now a 3-pellet family).

Kid1 requested that our project for owls be to build an owl house. I said no, since I thought owls wouldn't be too attracted to our area. Hah, I got up at 2a.m. this weekend, thinking I heard a dog woofing nearby; imagine my surprise to realize that the animal was saying something more along the lines "Who cooks for you?". Well. Anyway, I think we're a little late on the nesting box at this point, plus I have no desire to shinny up a tree that high. Plus I think the power company is planning on digging up some stuff back there in the brushy part of the yard, and would probably cut down the very tree we'd use. Etc., etc.

We have moved on to studying cats, including our 2 resident felines. One observation we've made so far: if you play a RealAudio of a hooting Barred Owl while your cat is asleep on the computer chair, the cat will get up and leave the room, leaving you to reclaim the chair.

2 comments:

knitsteel said...

I'd love to attend some owl programs like that. So would my kids ;).

Weaver said...

very cool!!!