Monday, September 17, 2012

Samantha the great horned owl

Samantha is one of our education great horned owls.  We keep our winged ambassadors healthy and happy with diet choices as close to their natural prey as possible.  Samantha enjoyed a rat, and the skull (with lots of bone=calcium) was a great enrichment tool for her, too. 


  1. I have a question, I hope you can help me.
    Outdoor cats are missing in our neighborhood. It happens when we hear
    the hooting of great horned owls.
    Last night I heard the call and I found my cat on top of the chicken house, looking at the woods from where the hoot came, he looked as hypnotized, we had to take a ladder to take him to the house.
    Is possible that the call of the owls is hypnotic?

    1. Maria-
      Thanks for following The Raptor Center blog! We appreciate your support.

      Owl calls are not hypnotic but the cat certainly sounds like he heard or say something that he was seriously interested in. So much so that you had to retrieve him from the chicken house.

      Cats that are allowed to roam outdoors face a lot of challenges from cars, other people, dogs, other cats, and other wildlife. However cats allowed to roam outdoors have been shown to do an enormous amount of damage to wildlife. Many studies show them catching mice, birds, lizards and other small animals. Across the United States on a yearly basis they may be killing millions of birds.

      The Raptor Center has received small owls that have been caught by cats. The safest place for your cat is indoors.

      The hooting of a great horned owl means different things at different times of year but at this time of year the owl is probably calling to announce his/her territory to any other owls in the neighborhood. I believe the hooting and the cats disappearing is a coincidence.

      As I mentioned above cats face many challenges when left unattended outside and can easily get into trouble. The surest way to keep the cats safe from disappearing and the wildlife in your neighborhood safe is to keep cats indoors.

      I hope this answers your questions! If you can we have our Raptor Release on Saturday September 22nd at Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center and you can come and watch birds being released back to the wild, see some of our education raptors, walk the trails, and get apples from the apple orchard all on the St. Croix River! here's a link to more information:

      Gail Buhl
      Education Program Manager
      The Raptor Center

    2. Gail
      Thanks so much for your answer, it answer my questions.
      Unfortunately our cat, Gus, came from we don't know where 4 months ago.
      He showed up in the carport and made friends with our big dogs, and he, Gus, adopted my husband.
      Gus was already fixed and yes, he chase mice, but we live in the country and have had a mice invasion 2 years ago, so, he helps.
      He never chase birds, I feed hundreds of doves, sparrows, cardinals, etc.
      We also have swallows coming every spring to nest in our door frames, we love them too.
      We have 2 roadrunners too,nesting in our front oaks.
      I would love to go to the Raptor Release, I'm going to the site you gave me to see if you are in Texas.
      Thanks again for your kindness.
      Maria Sommer
      Stephenville, TX.