Owl Unit Study

A great way to begin a study of owls is to observe them in the wild. If there is a bird sanctuary or a place out in the country where owls are always heard, go to those locations at night with a flashlight. Because owls are nocturnal, hunting only at night, you will probably not be able to find them during daylight hours. Ask around, and you will be surprised that owls probably live in your area.

We saw some wild hoot owls out in the country, and we also saw an owl demonstration at a local children's museum. The live owls brought into the museum had been injured, so we could look at them up close. Their wings make no sound at all when they fly, which cause them to be able to catch their prey quite successfully. Owls also have a keen sense of sight, better than ours. The best way to identify owls in the wild is to listen to their call, and when you see them, pay attention to any markings as well as how large they are. Then look up the owls in a bird identification book or in The Owl Pages.

If you are unable to see live owls, go ahead and watch a video about owls, so that your children can understand how owls are different than other birds. They are larger than most birds and are carnivorous. They help us keep our rodent population down. They also swivel their heads.

Once you've seen the owls in the wild or in a video, read some picture books about owls from the library. Your children might want to draw or color the owls. Here are some owl coloring pages:

If your children want to go into more detail, they can make an owl lapbook. You will need white card stock paper, scissors, and glue:

You might also want to make some fun owl crafts:

Here are some delicious treats you can make with an owl theme:

As a culminating activity for our unit study, we dissected an owl pellet. You can order a sterilized owl pellet wrapped in foil. When you open it up, you need to remove the fluff to find the bones of small animals that were eaten for dinner by the owl. I filmed our owl pellet dissection, and it is in the Treasure Vault.