Help with owl video/info for my toddler!
July 23, 2009 7:47 PM   Subscribe

Owl help needed to placate and amuse a curious and enthusiastic toddler!

Okay, so my 21 month old is obsessed with owls, particularly hooting owls, both real and fictional (particularly the baby Einstein dvd with the owl puppets where he made me rewind the same 45 seconds about 500 times). I've looked on youtube and found a couple of examples, but they are poor quality or 17 seconds long. Do a search for "Owl Hooting" for the examples, the great horned owl ones had the best response

SO, I'd love to find owl footage, either for free on the internet (bonus), or that I can purchase, hopefully with owls going "hooo hooo". Also, I'm looking for anything owl related; books, toys, whatever.

My googling has yielded a fairly lousy mixed bag. Oh hive mind owl experts help me please!
posted by Ponderance to Pets & Animals (26 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Have you tried checking here?
posted by MaryDellamorte at 7:49 PM on July 23, 2009

Oh, also the internet bird collection is a great site too.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 7:51 PM on July 23, 2009

Ok last time I swear, I share a similar affliction to owls as your child. Ebay is a vast source of anything owl related. Some nights when I'm really bored, I go to the search and simply type in "owl" just to see what I can find.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 7:53 PM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

If you're in the New Jersey area, go to The Raptor trust - there are owls aplenty there. You might also contact them to find out what resources they have. They used to have a web cam on snowy owls, but it doesn't look like it's up anymore.

There are also a number of owl cams and I found one with a sound library.
posted by plinth at 8:04 PM on July 23, 2009

Response by poster: Mary your are amazing!!! Thank you! Keep the info coming, one and all. The links are fantastic. As soon as I walked in the door this evening he said "Real owl Daddy" as I told him after enduring the puppet owl for the 50 billionth time that he should see what a real owl looks like. The youtube clips were getting old.

Great stuff!
posted by Ponderance at 8:04 PM on July 23, 2009

Cornell's Lab of Ornithology has pages on lots of birds, with video and sound clips.
Cornell also has owl nest cams
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:22 PM on July 23, 2009

I always turn to The Owl Pages for all my outdoor ed programs on Owls - great photos and sounds of all species of owl. For video, there are several pages of results for owls on Bird Cinema.

When gets a little older, there is a very charming story book I think he'd love: Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
posted by nelleish at 8:24 PM on July 23, 2009

Also, your local nature center may have programs where they bring in real owls for kids to see.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:25 PM on July 23, 2009

Also, try looking for animal sanctuaries near where you live in addition to nature centers. I went to an animal sanctuary in South Africa once and there was a section with Great Horned Owls that were free roaming. They would come up to you and you could touch them. Some were missing a leg, another was missing an eye, most had broken wings beyond repair. These were owls that would not be able to survive in the wild.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 8:30 PM on July 23, 2009

The Audubon stuffed birds are lovely and very accurate looking and sounding. Then he could have an owl to take to bed with him every night.
posted by katemonster at 8:37 PM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

Oh, and they do make a Great Horned Owl.
posted by katemonster at 8:38 PM on July 23, 2009

Plinth, you are so correct. The last time I was at the Raptor Trust I wanted to marry the snowy owl. Ponderance, if you and your child ever make it to northern New Jersey, be sure to check out the Raptor Trust. You won't be disappointed.
posted by mollweide at 8:51 PM on July 23, 2009

Folkmanis makes my favorite animal puppets. They've made several owls [do a page search for owl] ranging in size from finger puppet to a foot and a half tall. None hoot but all are accurately detailed (one even has blinking eyes) and really well crafted.

My SO the hunter also mentioned the availability of owl calls and CDs of owl sounds, which are used to flush wild turkeys.
posted by jamaro at 9:25 PM on July 23, 2009

The Owl and the Pussycat

Makes no sense, but he'll probably love it. There are many, many book versions.
posted by kjs4 at 10:01 PM on July 23, 2009

Winnie the Pooh has an owl too.

In fact, wikipedia has a page devoted to fictional owls. Who'da thunk.
posted by kjs4 at 10:13 PM on July 23, 2009

Owl related knitting pattern: the Owl Sweater, which also comes in child sizes here (scroll to Owlet).
posted by illenion at 10:19 PM on July 23, 2009

In the UK you can get similar (the same?) toys as Audabon link above from the RSPB. They sound real and are quite cute.
posted by terrortubby at 12:04 AM on July 24, 2009

My younger son went through a similar owl phase when he was about that age due to the Berenstain book Bears in the Night. It has an owl as a crucial element in the story. Actually, I think he was afraid of the owl, but he was fascinated by it. It is a fun book for toddlers.
posted by Loudmax at 12:27 AM on July 24, 2009

I went to visit some owls just today!

If your child likes hooting, he will probably like Great Horned Owls, Barred Owls, Spotted Owls, and Burrowing Owls. Barn Owls are lovely, and the stars of a lot of readily-available internet content, but they are screechy instead of hooty.

The gift shop at the High Desert Museum in Bend, OR, has a DVD of baby Northern Spotted owls hooting it up with their parents, Polka and Dot. It's $8, I think.

You might also like the free online material at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. The burrowing owls are especially cute.

If you're Googling for stuff, I recommend using the full Latin name of the owl as a search term -- that way you get both domestic and foreign-language content, and it's usually higher quality.

Flickr is a good source for owly pictures. You can set up any of these groups to automatically play as a slideshow if you have a small owl fan on your lap.
Barn Owls
Spectacular Owls, not to be confused with
Spectacled Owls
Owls of North America
Owls of the World.
I've looked at most of the content here, and haven't linked to any groups that have a lot of jungle savagery or gory beaks, in case that's a concern.

I bought my young nephew a Folkmanis snowy owl. It is a big soft puppet with a head that turns and wings that flap, and huge, fluffy, graspy toes. It nests in the corner of his bed.

Jonathan Allen has a couple of picture books suitable for someone who is nearly two. I liked I'm NOT Cute, which is about a little owlet who would like to be recognized as the fierce predator he is.

Hurrah for owls, and for youthful obsession, and for dads who know what's good!
posted by Sallyfur at 12:53 AM on July 24, 2009

posted by Daily Alice at 3:10 AM on July 24, 2009

There's an owl in The Gruffalo (and I'm fairly sure he reappears in the sequel, the Gruffalo's Child), and Owl Babies is a favourite with the nursery school crowd.
posted by featherboa at 3:28 AM on July 24, 2009

You might give the Fox Valley Wildlife Center or the Willowbrook Wildlife Center a call an see if they currently have any owls being rehabilitated (or if they know someone who does).
posted by mikepop at 5:44 AM on July 24, 2009

This is probably inappropriate for a toddler, but if the obsession continues, in a few years you may want to consider Owl Pellets- these are sterilized owl droppings for dissection; it sounds really gross, but it's fascinating for kids to see the mouse skeletons and other bits that traverse the owl's digestive system.
posted by jenkinsEar at 10:42 AM on July 24, 2009

Seconding the Owly graphic novels, they are adorable and have no words (except for a few sound effects), so s/he will be able to read them soon. There is also an animated short.
posted by clearlydemon at 9:41 PM on July 27, 2009

Adorable owl video.
posted by applemeat at 9:29 AM on August 17, 2009

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