Wednesday, December 9, 2009
SBOIC was fortunate enough to partner with SaskPower to deliver "Wise Owlets Ecology Camps" for Moose Jaw youth. Kids learned about prairie ecology and conservation, and of course, got to meet some of the critters living at SBOIC.
One of the most popular camp activities was catching grasshoppers in the native prairie beside our Centre. Much to the delight of our owls, some of these grasshoppers would find their way into their enclosures and become a light snack.
She sat on top of the tissue box, gripped the box in her sharp talons, and methodically pulled out each sheet with her beak. She transferred the tissue from her beak to a foot, and then proceeded to rip the sheet into a thousand little pieces. Once finished, she would pull another sheet out of the box and keep ripping until the box was completely empty.
Imagine my surprise when I woke up and found my bedroom looking like a snowstorm!
As I cleaned up the mess (and what a mess it was!), I wondered if this was nesting behaviour... If so, Shorty had a long way to perfection...
You want me to throw THAT?
In the wild, growing burrowing owl chicks spend a lot of time outside the nest burrow. They pounce on grasshoppers, play with sticks, and scrabble for food with their siblings. Their antics are fun to watch, but these owlets are actually learning important life skills like flying and hunting.
If you have brothers or sisters, you’ll understand. My dog's life was turned upside town when she was introduced to two owls. She had to start sharing her things. Even her beds.
Shorty soon learned that the bedroom was the quietest and darkest place to nap during the day.
Short-eared owls often roost (sleep) in tufts of grass in the wild. The grass serves as great camouflage and probably a good break from the wind too. I never considered comfort to be important to wild animals, but I suppose a dog bed is like a bed of soft grass.
Even George thought the dog beds were great.
Well, where did that leave my dog?