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Screech Owls

Mike Norkum/Flickr Creative Commons

My children Jack and Emma met an eastern screech owl recently at a nature center event. Looking up at the pint-glass sized bird, Jack asked me, “Dad, is it real? Or is it a robot?” Emma looked at it quizzically and posited that it must be fake, since its eyes blink just like a toy Furby.

Despite Emma’s rather accurate description, the little bird was quite alive. Eastern screech owls have very deliberate-looking blinks and winks. Their large yellow eyes help them spot prey, even at night.

W. Brooks Paternotte took the helm of Irvine Nature Center as executive director in July 2013 and immediately began building on the strong 35-year foundation. Brooks is a Baltimore native who was a teacher, coach, advisor, dean and Head of the Middle School during his 13 years at Boys’ Latin School in Baltimore. He is also an instructor and ambassador of the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and is a Leave No Trace Master, as well as an avid outdoorsman and a features writer for FlyLife Magazine.