Oakland Elementary School once had its very own owl residing in a tree just outside the southwest door. Whooo was the first person to nickname the owl “Okie?” The original source of the name is unknown, but one thing is certain: students, parents, teachers, and nearby neighbors kept a close watch on Okie and marveled at his presence. Okie’s appearance, combined with several owl sightings in Oakland’s trees throughout the years, prompted our learning community to adopt the owl as the school’s new mascot.Facts About Owls:
- Owls have excellent hearing. In complete darkness, owls locate their prey by sound. An owl can hear a mouse approaching from 60 feet.
- Owls fly virtually silently due to their velvety, thick, and soft feathers that absorb the sound of flight.
- Owls have forward-facing eyes and exceptional vision. The tubular shape of an owl’s eyes limit movement within the sockets. To compensate, their necks can turn up to 270 degrees—three-fourths of a circle.
- Owls can see in the daytime. Their pupils don’t get as small as ours in bright light, so they block out the extra light by closing their eyes halfway or more. They may look sleepy, or even half asleep, when really they are wide awake and alert.
- There are over 200 species of owls in the world. Each species has a unique “call” to communicate with one another.
- Owls live on every continent except Antarctica. Eighteen different species reside in North America. Certain species live in one place year-round.
- Most owls do not make their own nests; instead, they typically nest in a tree cavity or in a previously-built nest created by a crow, raven, or hawk.
- Owls have sharp talons.
- Owls are chiefly nocturnal, or active at night.
- Owls pose no threat to humans.
- Owls mate for life. Female owls are always larger/heavier than their male counterparts.
- In Greek mythology, the owl was often associated with the goddess Athena. Athena personified Wisdom.
- A group of owls is called a parliament.
Owl Fact Resources:
Enchanted Learning: http://members.EnchantedLearning.com
Microsoft Office Encarta 2009
Teacher Created Materials: Thematic Unit: OWLS by Fran Van Vorst (Labeled “Primary”: ISBN 1-57690-375-3)