Posted by: oceannah | February 11, 2013

Winterfest Raptor Program


We attended the local Winterfest this weekend and there was a group that put on a wonderful raptor program.  This Barn Owl was one of the featured birds of prey.

Barn Owl


With a packed room and many kids in the crowd I was surprised at how calm the birds were.  Ellen the program interpreter showed us a Snowy Owl and explained many interesting facts about them.  One being that the Snowy Owl will in fact come down into the lower 48 during the winter moths.  But scientists previously thought it was because scarcity of food was driving the owls to look further for food.  What we know now is that it is because the food sources were so abundant and so many of the chicks that were hatched were successfully fledged that the parents are driving the young out of their territory.

snowy owlThe entire program was a great treat to watch as these amazing birds were walked around the room.  A very large Red Tailed Hawk was the largest bird in the show.

red tailed hawkEllen was great with the birds.  Very respectful and gentle.  I really liked the way she moved around the room showing the birds to the entire crowd and especially to the children.

The littlest bird in the show was a Screech Owl…SO cute.screech owl

The Screech Owl can make a loud screeching call when alarmed, but typically it makes a low trilling call.  These are one of the smallest owls in our area at about 6-8 inches.  They nest in tree cavities and eat small rodents and even larger insects like grasshoppers.

Barred OwlThis Barred Owl is a mid-sized owl and has the typical “who cooks for you, who cooks for youuuu” call.  We have a lot of Barred Owls near us.   This past fall we saw one dead in the road from a car impact.  Out of respect we moved the owl to the field as it’s final resting place…doing much more good for the soil than being ground into the pavement.

It wasn’t all birds of prey at the Winterfest.  There was a chili cook-off and a nice ice sculpture display.  This was one of my favorites.

ice sculpture-ram



















































When you live in a part of the country that has a long winter it’s important to make the most of it.  Skiing and ice skating are surefire ways to get out and about in the winter, but this was also a nice way to get outside and walk around town.  What’s your favorite winter activity?





  1. We are huge birds of prey fans at Dyson Abbey and in fact, my eldest niece has been taking falconry lessons for some time; it’s a priviledge to get up close and personal with them

  2. Beautiful birds! My fave is the barn owl!
    Um, favorite winter activity… Playing with he grandkids on the beach. 😀

  3. What a neat presentation.

  4. Isn’t nature grand? What magnificent creatures. All have a role to play. Our role should be to protect. 🙂

    • I could not agree more Kaye. Protection/Stewardship is our primary role.

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