August 4th was International Owl Awareness Day, and it’s not too late to recognize and celebrate this animal. Owls are a nocturnal order of birds who are an important part of our ecosystem being a natural form of pest control. This allows rodents, small birds, and insect populations to be better controlled.
Because owls are so important, there are a few things to keep in mind to keep the environment healthier for owls to live in. One good way to help owls is to use traps instead of poison to control mice. The poison used on the mice can transfer to the owls and harm them as well. Another way to help owls is to be aware of outside nets or wires that owls could get stuck in (i.e. soccer nets, fake spider webs). Other things that you can do include creating an owl box for owls to live in, buying recycled paper to use, and supporting an owl-focused institution near you.
Near Edwardsville, IL, the Treehouse Wildlife Center in Dow, IL, focuses on rehabilitating injured wildlife and educating people on wildlife in the area. For the past two years, the Treehouse Wildlife Center has visited the STEM Center’s Odyssey Science Camp with an owl to spread awareness on these animals. You can visit the Treehouse Wildlife Center to learn more, donate, or volunteer.
The STEM Center also has a few ways to help you learn more, or teach your students about owls! We have owl pellets available to purchase. The undigested parts of an owl’s food forms a pellet that the owl spits up. Our pellets are guaranteed to have prey remains in them to ensure a rewarding dissection experience. We also have bird nests and bird field guides to aid in the teaching and learning of birds.
Owls are an important part of our ecosystem, and these are just a few of the great ways to learn more about them. Other resources to learn more about owls can be found here: