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Festival of Owls Week – March 3-4, 2023

Festival of Owls Week is observed every year on the first weekend of March and this year it will be marked from March 3 to 4. It is a time set aside to celebrate and share stories of these incredible birds. It is a fun and vibrant day in Houston North America. It is a three-hour drive southeast of the Twin Cities. During this festival, the community of owl enthusiasts engages in a lineup of entertaining and educational activities.

History of Festival of Owls Week

To fully immerse yourself in this full owl appreciation festival a little backstory and perspective are needed on how and why it all began.

It all started when a very energetic bird named Alice met the very caring Karla Bloem. Alice was a three-week-old great horned owl living in Raptor rehabilitation center in Antigo. She was blown out of her nest and broke her left wing at the joint which caused her to permanently damage her nerves. Meanwhile, Karla was in search of a good education bird and an injured bird to feature at the Houston Nature Center. She eventually met Marge Gibson who at the time was in charge of the Raptor; she gave Alice to Bloem. When the two ran into each other at the center it was almost like fate had ordained it.

Alice was a big hit at the center, she has a big personality and slowly became part of not only Karla’s life but everyone at the nature center. So when Alice turned six, Karla started the Festival of Owls to celebrate her hatch day in March. Over the years the festival grew and gained traction from many owl enthusiasts and other bird watchers. Now people from all over the world try to take part in this day by sharing stories, and organizing fairs and contests for high schoolers to educate them on the powerful nocturnal bird.

Though this particular festival just recently started getting popular, the owls have been significant in historical folklore in different parts of the world for many years. In a lot of countries in Africa and the Middle East, the bird predicts bad tidings, gloom, and even death, whilst in other parts like old Siberia, China, and Greenland the bird has been said to be a symbol of good luck and fortune.

Festival of Owls Week timeline

The Hatch-Day

The day celebrates Alice the great-horned owl.

The Move to International Owls Center

Alice starts working at the International Owls Center but is now semi-retired.

There is Growing Popularity

The festival has a crowd of over 2,300 people which for Houston is a big deal.

The Change of Plans

The festival is held off until late spring so people can participate outdoors.

Festival of Owls Week FAQs

Are owls bad luck?

No, they are not. These myths were simply stories brought about by fear and superstition.

What are owl pellets?

Owl pellets are not feces. They are indigestible material that has been compacted in the owls’ gizzard and regurgitated.

Do owls make good pets?

They can be quite a handful and require a lot of specialized care. They often make a ruckus at night and have a special rodent-rich diet making them high-maintenance pets.

Festival of Owls Week Activities

  1. Engage the family

    You can make it a bonding day experience with your families by building an owl nest box together. You can also get owl pellets and dissect them together.

  2. Have an excursion

    If you’re a student, a good way to get your school involved is by proposing a class field trip to a nearby bird conservatory in your town and spotting some owls. I’m sure there will be a lot of interesting information to learn about owls and how they live.

  3. Have a contest

    Engage your friends or colleagues to make a variety of owl crafts or costumes. You can even set up a vendor stall where people can buy owl-inspired merchandise, and enjoy a day eating owl-inspired food.

5 Intriguing Facts About Owls

  1. They have a variety of species

    There are over 200 different owl species and are found in various habitats except for Antarctica.

  2. They are nocturnal

    Owls are most active and awake at night time. They do this to avoid predators and heat.

  3. They eat meat

    Owls have powerful claws which help them catch and kill small prey like rats and squirrels.

  4. They are camouflage masters

    Owls almost always seem to pop out of nowhere because of the color of their feathers.

  5. They have superpowers

    Owls can rotate their necks a maximum of 270-degrees. Talk about birds of prey.

Why We Love Festival of Owls Week

  1. It promotes conservation

    There are a lot of superstitions around owls and for this reason, thousands of their kind have been killed over the years. This festival evokes a conversation of inclusion on this generally neglected and witch-hunted species.

  2. It celebrates the species

    As predators, owls prey on a large number of small rodents and other pests, thus playing a very important role in our ecological system. This directly affects the food supply as there are fewer food losses on farms.

  3. It’s fun for the community

    From storytelling to nature walks this festival is a good reason for our communities to come together for a like-minded reason. Craft contests, costumes, and interactive games are a great way to inspire creativity.

Festival of Owls Week dates

2022March 4Friday
2023March 3Friday
2024March 1Friday
2025March 1Saturday
2026March 6Friday

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