All about Owls!
This summer while canoeing, we saw many owls. It was awe inspiring seeing them fly so close to us. Swooping overhead and landing on the banks beside us, they followed us down the river. It was magnificent and inspired us to learn more about them. So, we dug into learning everything we could. Below I share the resources we used as we learned about owls. I have included hyperlinks to various books, videos, and resources. Have fun owling!
1. Books! Books! Books!
We adore books and order many from our public library. We also have some that we reference again and again, like Nature Anatomy by Julia Rothman and bird field guides. To start your owl studies, I recommend reading Owl Moon by Jane Yolen. Some copies come with an audio recording of the book and the 20 Nature Stories DVD brings this story (and 19 others) to life with slow animation; we purchased the DVD as it is only around $7 and has many educational books on it, including Owl Moon. Owl Moon is such a magical book in that you can really feel what it would be like to go owling. It stirs your desire to learn more. Below are some of our favourite books that we used in our studies but we continue to find great owl books so along with these, stop by your local library and see what other books there are. I'm sure there will be additional gems that you and your children will love!
Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
Owls by Gail Gibbons
Owl Babies by Martin Wadell
Barn Owl by Bert Kitchen
My Little Book of Burrowing Owls by Hope Irvin Marston
From Egg to Owl by Jennifer Boothroyd
2. Nature documentaries
Of course, the best place to learn about Owls would be in nature but they can be difficult to observe. A wonderful resource is documentaries. We enjoyed watching the following ones during our owl studies:
3. Owl Pellet Dissection
As part of our homeschool coop, we dissected owl pellets and found all of the tiny bones. Later, at home, we sorted them into the different types of bones. You can use an owl pellet bone chart to help identify the bones.
4. Additional Resources:
- Owls of North America and their Calls by Bird Kind (youtube video)
- Saskatchewan Burrowing Owl Interpretative Centre has a lot of information available on their website and you may also visit in person from May long weekend to September long week. You can request a guided tour.
- Museums and Science Centres:
Museums and science centres are great resources to learn about animals and their habitats. If you have any questions, make a list and take them with you to your natural sciences museum and see if you can answer them by viewing and reading the exhibits. Also, the staff are there to answer questions so be sure to ask them too!
We visited the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, a natural history museum in Regina, SK, and saw owls on display up close. There is also a live owl at our nearby science centre, the Saskatchewan Science Centre, where we spent some time observing as well.
Happy owl studies!! We hope you have a hoot!
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