We had the most exciting interview the other day! We met Owlbert the Great Horned Owl and his handler Debbie! We sat down to interview the two and learn Owlbert’s story!
Us: It is so nice to meet you! Debbie can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you met Owlbert?
Debbie: I was a wildlife rehabilitator in Texas and rehabbed all kinds of animals. I am now a Master Falconer. I received a call that there was an owl who had been injured and lost his eye, so I decided to take him in.
Us: Owlbert, how were you injured?
Owlbert: I was hit by a car and a nice human found me and took me to a vet. My left eye and skull were hurt and they decided that they had to take my eye out.
Us: Wow! That sounds like it was very painful. How long did it take you to recover?
Owlbert: It took about 2 months for my head injury to heal and about another month for the swelling and pain to go away.
Us: Goodness! That was great of Debbie to take you in and help you get better. What’s it like here?
Owlbert: I live in a muse (a type of aviary) in the back yard. It has several places to perch for me and a nice box for me to go in during bad weather.
Us: That is great! You are large bird, how much do you weigh?
Owlbert: I weigh about 1500 grams or 3 lbs.
Us: Cool. What do eat?
Owlbert: I really like rats and I get a large one every day. Sometimes I get squirrels or mice too. In the wild, one of the Great Horned Owl’s favorite prey items is skunk!
Us: Whew! Skunks are stinky! Do you throw up owl pellets?
Owlbert: Oh yes, I cannot digest some of the bones and fur of the rats I eat, so every day I throw up a pellet of all those parts.
Us: Eeeew! What do you do now with Debbie?
Owlbert: Debbie and I go out to nature centers, schools and other places like Fernbank Museum of Natural History. Debbie tells people all about me and owls. Debbie does all the talking and I sit on my perch and look handsome!
Us: That is great that you act as ambassador for your wild cousins!
Owlbert: Oh yes! We like to tell people about how they can help Great Horned Owls and other animals in the wild!
Us: Neat! Can you give us some tips?
Owlbert: Sure! One great way is to make sure your own yard is great place for wildlife to live. You can plant trees or bushes that provide shelter or put up bird houses or bat boxes. Another great thing to do is to keep things like chemical and oil containers out of reach of all animals.
Us: Those tips are fabulous! We know that you live with Debbie, would you recommend that others take in wild animals as pets.
Owlbert: Oh no. Debbie is a licensed wildlife rehabilitator and she is an expert at taking care of me. Here in Georgia is illegal to own native species without a having a special permit. Being in captivity can be very stressful for wild animals and wild animals can carry diseases that they can give to other animals or people.
Us: Wild animals need to live in their habitats. Do you know any ways to enjoy animals in their habitats?
Owlbert: Oh yes! Go to a park or your yard and listen for all the sounds that you hear from birds, insects and mammals. Count how many things live under a rock. Take pictures and make a photo album.
Us: Those are some excellent ideas! How do people contact Debbie if they would like for the two of you to visit?
Owlbert: That’s easy! You can contact us at Wild Things Environmental Education!
Debbie Tennyson 770-355-2292 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Us: Thanks again for joining us today Owlbert and Debby! We had a blast getting to meet you! Be sure to check Owlbert out on his Facebook page too!
Owlbert is celebrating his 2nd birthday soon! You can join him at birthday party too! Here’s the info:
Wild Bird Center of Buford
2725 Hamilton Mill Rd. suite 1400
Buford, GA. 30519
Saturday, May 3 from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 pm
Here are some Fun Great Horned Owl Facts:
- They are native to the Americas.
- They have a very low pitch call
- They are nocturnal.
- They are the most widely distributed owl in the Americas.
- They cannot move their eyes, but instead can turn their head 270 degrees.
- They have an excellent sense of hearing.
We hope you all have enjoyed our interview with Owlbert! We know we sure did!
Owlbert and Debby gave us this fun activity to try too! Learn to see like an owl!