Meet Karla Bloem. She is the Director of the Houston Nature Center. She also has a mate named Aliceâ who happens to be a Great Horned Owl.
The relationship began when Alice imprinted on Karla (Twilight, anyone?), directing vocalizations her way. “Since no one has written a book titled “How to Be a Male Great Horned Owl,” nor has ever studied their vocalizations, I took on the task. I record both Alice and wild owls, but realized I needed a captive breeding pair to record all of the vocalizations and vocal development starting while they are still in the egg,” said Bloem.
So, that’s exactly what she did.
Karla’s 1000+ square foot breeding and release training complex, outfitted with six security cameras and microphones, is now home to two new owls: Rusty and Iris. The space’s live video feed allows viewers the chance to participate in the observations by filling out online forms and helping to supplement Karla’s work. With the AWB grant, a high-end pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) cam will be added to the flight pen, so Karla and co will have a close up of the owls in flight.
Currently, the world authority on Great Horned Owl vocalizations, Karla has founded both the International Festival of Owls and World Owl Hall of Fame. Learn more about her work through her website and blog. You can also tune-in to the livestream, below, but we’re warning you: it is SO ADDICTIVE!