Owl Awareness Day

with The Raptor Center

Enjoy family-friendly owl-themed content from The Raptor Center

To celebrate International Owl Awareness Day on Aug 4, we've compiled some fun and educational videos, resources, and activities that you can enjoy as a family!

What is an owl?

An owl is a special type of raptor, or bird of prey. Watch to learn what makes a raptor unique to other birds and some special adaptations that owls have, with Lois the great horned owl.

What makes owls important?

Large owls are apex predators, which means they are at the top of the food chain. The health of these owls tells us a lot about the health of the rest of the environment. Because of this, we call them "sentinel species" since they alert us to problems or concerns elsewhere. As predators, owls also play a critical role in controlling prey populations.

Human activity can impact the health of owls. Chemicals used to kill rodents, habitat loss due to human development, collisions with cars and other man-made structures, and disruptions to the ecosystem all endanger the lives of owls. But by understanding these harms, we can work to keep owls safe and even positively benefit their populations. More ideas to help are below!

Owl videos from The Raptor Center

Animation of how owls eat and then make owl pellets

Dissecting owl pellets in our raptor "kitchen"

Reading a children's book about owls - with an owl!

Spruce is a northern saw-whet owl who lives at The Raptor Center

Each year our clinic sees about 1,000 raptor patients, including hundreds of owls.

Our ultimate goal is to release them back to the wild.

Barred owl release

Our 100th patient of 2020, returning to the wild

Great horn release

A final look before this owl heads back home

Snowy owl release

An uncommon patient, this snowy was released in 2018

Whooo's that owl? Learn owl calls from the videos below!

Great horned owl call

Barred owl call

Barn owl call

Boreal owl call

Owl activities and games

What you can do to help owls

About The Raptor Center

Based in St. Paul, MN, The Raptor Center (TRC) rescues and rehabilitates sick and injured raptors (birds of prey) for release back to the wild. We see around 1,000 wild birds each year.

TRC also offers educational programs for people of all ages to learn more about raptors and our shared environment. We do this with the help of ambassador birds who cannot be released to the wild but help us inspire and teach others.