Thorndyke’s Portal to Owls

Hey Kids,

Do you know who-o-o is a night owl? It’s me!

Now, you’re probably thinking—I’m not an owl at all, but a bear—and you would be right. But when the library closes and everyone has gone home, I become a night owl. I prefer to stay up way past my bedtime, when it’s quiet so I can read.

A night owl is a term that was inspired by the actual nocturnal animal, the owl. There are over 200 species of owls in the world. Owls are nocturnal which means they are awake at night, usually hunting for prey in woodland areas. Their feathers help camouflage them—almost making it impossible to see them in their natural habitats. You’ll probably hear one before you see one.

Owls make distinctive sounds to identify one another and their territories in the darkness. Here’s a sample of owl calls.

You have probably guessed by now that I’m a bird nerd—and you would be right (again!). Michigan is home to 11 types of owls. The eastern screech owl is the most common owl in southeast Michigan.

Did you know there’s an International Owl Awareness Day? It’s celebrated every year on August 4. How can you celebrate owls on this holiday? You can become a birdwatcher, visit a bird habitat or support bird rescue sanctuaries. If you love birds as much as I do, the Michigan Audubon offers field trips, workshops and birdwatching trail tours.

Well, I’m getting tired, so it’s time for me to get some sleep. I want to be refreshed in the morning to greet all of you when you visit the library.

In the meantime, here’s some fun project ideas for the whole family to make together. Check out these five ways to make your own owl in these step-by-step tutorial videos by Creativebug. Or, if you'd like to craft along with me, take a look at my upcycled owl craft. With some simple craft supplies, all you need is your imagination.

Bear Hugs,


P.S. Here’s some picture books if you think owls are a hoot. 

Night Owl Night by Susan Edwards Richmond. Sova's mother studies owls and their migration patterns, and one night, when Sova is old enough, she accompanies her mother to observe and tag saw-whet owls in the woods. 

Little Owl's Night by Divya Srinivasan. Little Owl enjoys a lovely night in the forest visiting his friend the raccoon, listening to the frogs croak and the crickets chirp, and watching the fog that hovers overhead. 

Good Night, Owl! by Pat Hutchins. Because all the other animals' noises keep him from sleeping, Owl watches for a chance to take his revenge. 

Owl Babies by Martin Waddell. Three owl babies whose mother has gone out in the night try to stay calm while she is gone.