Owls, Owls, Owls! Meeting our feathered friends at the Fruitlands Museum

susanwbailey:

owl by may alcott0001

Screech Owl over Louisa’s fireplace

These are owls that the Alcott girls would have seen living at Fruitlands. The little screech owl is one May painted over Louisa’s fireplace and the Barn Owl is in her painting that hung in The Salon in Paris. Now you can see them live! Note how regal the Barn Owl is … rather like May I think. :-)

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Originally posted on Be As One:

from www.wickedlocal.com

Marcia and Mark Wilson; from http://www.wickedlocal.com

I love birds and I love cats. So it makes sense that owls, with their cat-like eyes, should capture my heart. I had the thrill of seeing these beautiful creatures up close and personal at the Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, MA in a presentation by Marcia and Mark Wilson of Eyes on Owls.

Passion for owls

The Wilsons are unique in their ability to care for owls and to educate the public about them. Marcia comes by her interest honestly with a mother who worked with owls throughout her life and kept a Great Horned Owl in the family home. Mark is a professional photographer with credits including the covers of National Geographic plus twenty years of service to the Boston Globe.

Lifelong commitment

Both are passionate about birds to the point of housing some eighteen owls on their property. Some of these…

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One thought on “Owls, Owls, Owls! Meeting our feathered friends at the Fruitlands Museum

  1. susanwbailey says:

    Louisa knew a LOT about owls! Check out this section from Chapter 27 of LIttle Men:

    “”Owls have big heads, round eyes, hooked bills, and strong claws.
    Some are gray, some white, some black and yellowish. Their
    feathers are very soft, and stick out a great deal. They fly very
    quietly, and hunt bats, mice, little birds, and such things. They
    build nests in barns, hollow trees, and some take the nests of other
    birds. The great horned owl has two eggs bigger than a hen’s and
    reddish brown. The tawny owl has five eggs, white and smooth;
    and this is the kind that hoots at night. Another kind sounds like a
    child crying. They eat mice and bats whole, and the parts that they
    cannot digest they make into little balls and spit out.”

    “My gracious! how funny!” Nan was heard to observe.

    “They cannot see by day; and if they get out into the light, they go
    flapping round half blind, and the other birds chase and peck at
    them, as if they were making fun. The horned owl is very big,
    ‘most as big as the eagle. It eats rabbits, rats, snakes, and birds; and
    lives in rocks and old tumble-down houses. They have a good
    many cries, and scream like a person being choked, and say,
    ‘Waugh O! waugh O!’ and it scares people at night in the woods.
    The white owl lives by the sea, and in cold places, and looks
    something like a hawk. There is a kind of owl that makes holes to
    live in like moles. It is called the burrowing owl, and is very small.
    The barn-owl is the commonest kind; and I have watched one
    sitting in a hole in a tree, looking like a little gray cat, with one eye
    shut and the other open. He comes out at dusk, and sits round
    waiting for the bats. I caught one, and here he is.”

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