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Give a Hoot About Owls Presentation

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Have you ever heard a hoot-hoot in the woods, and wondered what kind of an owl it could be? It might surprise you to know that owls do much more than hoot. They are raptors, birds of prey, that grab their dinner with claws called talons. There are about 140 different kinds of owls, but only 21 different kinds live in North America, and of those, only 6 live in New Hampshire. My presentation focuses on the six New Hampshire owls.
Owls are amazing creatures that can fly soundlessly through the night sky. Their eyesight is 100 times better in the dark than that of people. Their eyes are like night vision binoculars. Their asymmetrical ears are located in large ear cavities on the sides of their heads. One ear is located high on one side of the head, while the other ear is low on the other side of the head. It is the owl’s exceptional hearing which allows it to catch a mouse in almost complete darkness. First the owl hears the prey, then it turns its head to see the prey. Owls usually eat their prey whole.

Owls cannot chew or grind their food. They cough up what they can’t digest in “poop” pellets. Their pellets usually contain fur and bones. At my presentation, I show several pellets containing bones that I found while hiking.

Have you ever heard an owl hoot or screech? Owls communicate in many ways in order to claim territory, warn of danger or call to a mate. Some people think owl sounds are eerie.

There are five owls that live in New Hampshire all year long. They are the Barred owl, the Eastern Screech Owl, the Great Horned Owl, the Long-Eared Owl, and the Screech Owl. The Snowy Owl is occasionally seen in the winter when the weather is severe. These nocturnal birds of prey are important to the ecosystem of an area. We should all give a hoot about owls!

Owls are endangered. Years ago, people killed owls to protect smaller livestock. Farmers used chemicals to protect crops, plants and trees from insects. Those chemicals hurt the owls. Natural habitats of owls have been destroyed as people move into wilderness areas.

Give a Hoot about Owls is a 60 minute, multimedia, hands-on presentation for people of all ages. Owl puppets, along with the plastic owl food are used along with recordings of owl screeches and hoots during a slide show. If you are interested in having John and Jackie Stetser come and give a presentation on owls, send Jackie an email at and put PRESENTATIONS in the Re: box.
Photos from the Audobon society.

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
ICEWYNDE 2/9/2015 11:28AM

    Wow! Thanks. My knowledge about owls has increased by about 1 million percent!

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PYNETREE 2/9/2015 8:44AM

    Way back in the '80's, having always been fascinated by owls, I saw a notice that the Forest Ranger at the PA State forest near where my family were camping, was giving a night Owl Walk & lesson. We took our daughters ages 3 & 10, and they were as fascinated as I was !
Our 10 year old was so interested, that when we got back to the Ranger Station, the Ranger took her around to see every exhibit they had, and taught her so much.
The younger one became so adept at mimicking Barred Owls, that as we sat around the campfire at night, she had owls answering her calls, from all around us.
We went back every year, took part in most night walks and daytime classes for many years.
And now our older daughter is married and living in that area of the Poconos, with 3 sons. She is their Den Mother and works every summer at Boy Scout Camp...and now she takes each group on a night owl hike, sharing her owl facts 6 times a summer.

Thanks for what you do! And thanks for the memory trip! emoticon

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JSTETSER 2/9/2015 7:42AM

    This has been a very popular presentation!

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SUSUSUZZZIE 12/30/2012 10:45PM

    I have always had a special place in my heart for owls. Thank you so much for this wonderful blog!

Happy New Year!

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FENWAYGIRL18 12/30/2012 10:05PM

    I brought my dad home on Christmas and 2 Owls were sitting on the electric line and it was really bizarre! I've always been told that when Owls come along that they mean death is coming and to see 2 of them sitting on the line of his house really freaked me out.
The pictures you showed were just beautiful, I've always been afraid of them because of what I was told...

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GAMMY98 12/30/2012 6:04PM

    Thank you this was very interesting. I love laerning about birds. I love taking pictures of them as well.

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LYNMEINDERS 12/30/2012 5:43PM

    Thanks for this...didn't know there was so many different owls.....
Not sure we have many varieties in NZ

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LOOKINGUP2012 12/30/2012 5:10PM

    Have you read: Wesley the owl: the remarkable love story of an owl and his girl? by Stacy O'Brien. It's a hoot, and true! I hate it that chemicals are killing so many of our birds. There used to be a lot of birds around our town. Now only sparrows in town.

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JUSTDOINGIT101 12/30/2012 4:25PM

    Beautiful images, and I learned something too! I love owls. Thanks for sharing.

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JSTETSER 12/30/2012 2:56PM

    I hope be giving the Aware of the Bear and the Give a Hoot about Owls presentations at the AMC Highland Center again this summer.

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KAYOTIC 12/30/2012 12:08PM

    Great presentation, and wonderful pictures, I love owls too!

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UNIQDRGNFLY 12/30/2012 12:03PM

    Thanks for sharing! I love owls! It is one of my major totems.

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OKBACK2ME 12/30/2012 11:58AM

    We have 14 different varieties of Owls in the Valley where I live. The Burrowing Owl that lives in the ground is on the brink of disappearing as the Vineyards have been planted over the areas they habitat. There is now focus on protection, but it may never be the same.

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AMYROSEC 12/30/2012 11:19AM

    I love owls, one night years ago I had one fly over me it was a blessing to have experienced.

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ERIN1957 12/30/2012 9:14AM

    Being Native American we grew up with great respect for them and the mystery they hold. Fasinating creatures.
Wonderful blog and picture sharing.

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YOYONOMORE1 12/30/2012 8:58AM

    I've always loved owls and the sounds they make, when we lived on our 3 acres of mostly trees and we had woods across from us, I loved it when I'd awake during the night to owl sounds, to me they are fascinating creatures. Love the pictures.


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ADIOSALL 12/30/2012 8:34AM

    Good job! Great pics and summary! emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 12/30/2012 8:02AM

    They really are beautiful creatures! Thanks for this synopsis. HUGS

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DOVESEYES 12/30/2012 7:51AM

    In New Zealand we had owls called moreporks and that is the sound they made "moorre pork'

I love owls and eagles too, thanks for the info really interesting. emoticon

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SANDYCRANE 12/30/2012 7:29AM

    I love the sounds of owls at night. I am a big bird fan of the birds and would like to identify the owls by our home. Thanks for the information.


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GOPINTOS 12/30/2012 7:27AM

    This was awesome! I saw an owl on a fence post along the side of the road, just the other day, and before dark. We had already passed it before it registered what it was! We hear them, and I often wonder what kind they are. My dad, who is gone now, would have known. I really wish I would have paid more attention to him :)

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EVER-HOPEFUL 12/30/2012 7:26AM

    thanks for sharing but i think germany might be too far to come for a presintation lol.very interesting though. emoticon

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MJRVIC2000 12/30/2012 7:24AM

    When I was young and I received my Bee-Gun, I shot an owl and it made him mad that he chased me all the way home. I learned to respect him and all life from that time on! God bless everyone! Vic.

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TORTISE110 12/30/2012 6:59AM

    Wow! Thanks for the change of pace. I love owls too.

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CANDOK1260 12/30/2012 6:39AM

    Thank for sharing

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