As part of our Earth Day Celebration 2008, Philipsburg School studied birds. We selected owls as our class study project. We read "Owls: Whoo Are They?" by Kila Jarvis and Denver Holt. Through this book we learned all about owls and their many adaptations. Each child selected an owl. They completed a research report on their owl. They also created a PowerPoint slide show for the other classes and visitors to watch on Earth Day. We dissected owl pellets. We took all the bones and sorted them according to type. Then we tried to recreate the prey's skeleton. We also made our own owls in small groups. We covered a balloon that we had shaped with papier-mache. Then we painted them. Finally we covered them with feathers, and added eyes and a beak. They came out awesome!
Linda Ransford, fourth-grade teacher
(Editor's note: Reports are not complete due to limited space.)
The Monkey Faced Owl
By ALEX BOOMER and CONNOR MUNIS
The barn owl is found in woodland wet marshes and grazed pastures. Human-made nesting areas include churches, grain elevators and occasionally barns. If they nest in human areas, they are protected from larger animals, also known as predators. The first and most important food for a barn owl is a meadow vole. The other food they may eat is field mice, pocket gophers, rats, and small birds. The barn owl lays its eggs in the spring. If the food is good, they will sometimes raise two groups of chicks.
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Barn owl by ALEX BOOMER
Flammulated Owls: The Insect Eaters
By CIERA WINGO
This owl is the smallest-eared owl. The body length is 6 to 7 inches, with the wing span of 14 to 19 inches. Also they weigh about 2 ounces. Their tails are 2 1/4 inches in length. The flammulated owl's ear tufts are much smaller than the screech owl's. Males and females are identical. Also they're located west in the Rocky Mountains. This type of owl mostly eats insects! ( Including scorpions! Yuck!) On rare occasions, they may eat small rodents and birds.
Flammulated owl by CIERA ROSE WINGO
The Diurnal Owl
By COURTNEY GOFF
The snowy owl is large. They are diurnal, which means they fly during the day. They have a white rounded face with yellow eyes and heavy feathered feet. Adult males are almost pure white. The male brings all of the food. The young owls leave their nest in 45 days. The male will even guard the nest against wolves. Adults can eat three to five lemmings per day. They are found in cave paintings.
The Amazing American Hawk Owl
By ANNIE PAWLAK
Northern hawk owls have yellow eyes, a dark brown upper part, and barred underparts and tails. It is a medium-sized owl. The northern hawk owl lives in boreal forests in North America and Eurasia. They hunt in semi-open country with scattered trees or groups of trees. The hawk owl mostly eats mice and voles, but also it will eat birds, large insects, frogs, lizards and fish. It nests inside woodpecker holes or abandoned crow, hawk and squirrel nests.
The Owl of the Deep Woods
By JIM STURDEVANT
A long-eared owl is multicolored. The long-eared male owl weighs 9 ounces. Its height is 13 inches. They are brown and light tan. The long-eared owl lives in North America. They also live in forest edges, heavy forests, and canyons, and by rivers. Long-eared owls lay four to five eggs. The owl pounces so it kills it right away so it does not run away. It kills other owls like the screech owl and other prey like squirrels and blue jays.
The Rain Owl
By KYRA BRABENDER
Have you heard of the barred owl? These owls are found in the eastern half of the United States and in western North America in mature forests and wooded swamps near open country. The barred owl eats insects, woodchucks, geese, foxes, rabbits, bats, small birds, other owls, fish, fiddler crabs, and easy to catch prey. When the barred owl does its call it sounds like "Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you all?" If you get too close to the barred owl, it will hurt you.
The Littlest Owl
By ETHAN STEPHENSON
The pygmy owl is 18.5 centimeters tall. It hunts for birds, insects, toads, shrews, small lizards, and snakes. The pygmy owl flies down and grabs its prey by the neck and snaps it. Did you know the pygmy owl will live on top of the highest trees? The pygmy owl lays its eggs in dead trees and in old woodpecker holes. The mother feeds the babies until they are old enough to live on their own.
Great Horned Beast
By DAN MICKELSON and ALEX KNAUER
Great horned owls are big and bulky. They weigh about 3 to 4 pounds. Their wingspan is 4 feet. These owls are brown, white and black. They have tufts that stand up on top of their head which gives them the name of the great horned owl. These are not their ears. They have ear holes on the sides of their head. These owls live almost all over the U.S. including Alaska and Canada. Their most preferred meal is hares. They mainly hunt at night but may even hunt during the day. They eat mostly mice, but will also eat rabbits, raccoons plus squirrels. After eating, they throw up a pellet of hair and bones. The pellets are as big as 3 to 4 inches in length.
Great horned owl By DANIEL MICKELSON
Saw Whet Owl
By TAYLOR JOHNSON and MAGGIE ALTHAUS
One of the fascinating things about the saw whet is its size. It is as small as 17.8-21.6 centimeters. This small owl has no ear tufts on its head. In very hard winters or during food shortages, saw whets migrate south into Georgia to Mexico. They like to stay away from people. The only time they are in towns or cities is during migration. They eat insects and small rodents like deer mice, rats, small squirrels, and chipmunks. They build nests in abandoned woodpecker holes. The male brings food to her while she is on the nest. When they are 4 weeks old, they learn to fly. The saw whet owls can live up to 17 years.
The Burrowing Owl
By SHAWNA LENZ
The burrowing owl is a small ground-dwelling owl with a round head and no ear tufts. The owl is a sandy colored owl and the baby is brown. They are also found perched on a mound of dirt or on a fence post. They eat beetles, grasshoppers, mice, rats, gophers, squirrels, reptiles, amphibians, scorpions, cottontail rabbits, birds, and bats. The burrowing owl usually has six to nine babies. They make their nest in a burrow in the ground. They do not make the burrows, they use burrows made from other mammals. All babies are born a day apart and they have extremely long legs.
The Ground Owl
By JENNIE BERRY
What flies, has short ears, and is nocturnal? If you said short-eared owl you're right. The short-eared owl lives on every continent except for Antarctica and Australia. The owl is known to relocate to areas high in rodents. It will also wander nomadically in search of better food supplies. The large-eared owl and the snowy owl eat the short-eared owl. Their nests are found on the ground. It lays four to seven eggs.
By TANNER SMITH
What in the world is a strix nebulosa? A strix nebulosa is the great gray owl. This owl is the largest but the lightest owl in Alaska. The great gray owl's wing span is 4 1/2 feet long and you thought your dad's arm span is long! Great gray owl lives in forests such as far North America. They frequently live at the Arctic tree line. This owl is unlike you in many ways such as it uses its hearing to catch its prey 2 feet under snow. The great gray owl's most feared enemy is the great horned owl. This owl can live to 40 years.
The Solo Owl
By TARA DUNKERSON
Did you ever think about what a boreal owl looks like? The front of the face is white, and the rim around the face is a black and white spotting. The eyes are pale to a bright yellow. They usually live in old-growth forests in the Rocky Mountains in North America. It usually eats small rodents. Did you know in North America people call the boreal owl, Boreas? Boreas is short for god of the north wind. Other countries call the boreal owl Richardson's owl, sparrow owl, partridge owl, and pearl owl.
By TYLER GENTRY
The western screech owl is a small nocturnal woodland owl. They are squat-looking and sit erect with its feathers fluffed out, with the feet and legs obscured, its distinct ear tufts raised. They use this is as camouflage. When it's threatened, it tightly pulls its feathers to its body so it looks like a stick. The owl lives on the Northwest coast, in Douglas fir, western hemlock, western red cedar, and Sitka forests. They feed on flying insects primarily. Nests are always in deciduous trees.
Western screech owl By TYLER GENTRY