Monday, November 22, 2010

World's Largest Owl and More Inspire, Amaze


Aurora, the world's largest owl, is making her debut this week at our new Owl Legends show and visitors are raving. Meeting this Eurasian eagle owl, with her six-foot wingspan, along with other live owls is a remarkable way to discover the natural science wonders as well as the myths surrounding these creatures.

Seeing her blazing orange eyes and powerful feet up close is an unforgettable experience. And, to demonstrate the night hunting adaptations of owls, you first will feel the Harris hawk swoop over your head and hear her feathers in the process.

But when the barn owl flies over the audience, there's silence. Barn owls are known for superior hearing and keen night vision. Their heart shaped facial disks and white coloration make them unmistakable.

When the great horned owl, the largest owl found regularly in the High Desert, circulates on the gloved arm of a wildlife specialist, its eyes follow you.

Owls have long been shrouded in mystery. This is a unique chance to explore the legends, myths, folklore and science surrounding our native night hunters. They have influenced fashion, been the muse of Picasso, appear in prehistoric cave paintings and remain the friend of farmers (they are still the most elegant and effective rodent control).

Learn why owls are revered in some cultures and greatly feared in others. What is a “ghost owl” and how did it earn that name? Do great horned owls really eat skunks and cats? Do “guardians among the owls” exist, such as in the new film Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole?

Compare legend with reality as internationally recognized raptor biologist James Dawson reveals secrets about these hunters of the sky and how they live in with wild.

11a.m. and 1 p.m. through Saturday (closed Thanksgiving Day).
Members: $5; Non-members $7 plus Museum admission.
Tickets and information: www.highdesertmuseum.org

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