Public programs are offered each day the Owl Center is open at 11:00, 2:00, and 3:30 PM. We also offer specially scheduled programs both on- and off-site for a variety of groups and organizations. Some programs are also offered as live, interactive online programs.
Live owl programs are an exciting way to learn about the environment. The International Owl Center's wide selection of programs ensures that everyone will find a topic to fit their audience, from preschools to Audubon Societies. All programs must be scheduled in advance of your visit.
Programs are offered either on- or off-site, but must be indoors in a generally insect-proof building due to the risk of West Nile Virus. Program length can be adjusted from 30 to 90 minutes depending on the program and audience, but 45-60 minutes is the usual length. Maximum group size at the Owl Center is 50.
All programs include a visit from one or more of our ambassador owls.
1-4 people (must include at least one adult); $200 members, $250 non-members
Get a behind-the-scenes tour of the International Owl Center given personally by Executive Director Karla Bloem. You and up to three others will get to see where the owls live when they aren’t at work, food preparation, and how they are transported to and from work. You’ll also get to see the camera monitoring setup for Rusty, Iris and the other owls. And of course you’ll hear the whole history of the International Owl Center and the individual birds first-hand. Evening tours will also have a chance to hear the wild owls that hang out in the area. Approximately 2 hours.
Build an Owl
Preschool to 2nd grade, libraries
Learn first-hand about owl adaptations by picking out the pieces and parts that belong to an owl and putting them into a "magic" box. If correct, a live owl comes out from under the magic box for a visit.
Owls and Us Game Show
2nd grade and older, 4-H, scouts, families
Get involved with this hands-on game show focusing on human-owl interactions and the basic questions everyone has about owls. Our most popular program for children.
Injured Owl Rescue
Audubon, nature centers
What should you do if you find an injured owl or other raptor? This training session will teach you how to safely catch a grounded raptor, what to put it in, some initial health assessment, how to transport the bird to give it the best chance for survival, and what you are and aren't allowed to do by law.
5th grade to nursing homes
Find out whooo's in your backyard! Discover how to identify owls by their calls, shapes and sizes with life-size silhouettes, audio recordings and/or a PowerPoint presentation.
Real Life Great Horned Owl Soap Opera
General public, college, Road Scholar, Audubon, online
First Victor evicted Wendell and Wheezy from their own territory. Then Wheezy got sick and died so Victor and Virginia ran Wendell off. When Rusty and Iris moved in, Scarlett Owl Hara showed up to try to steal Rusty and kill Alice. Virginia died, Hagar and Helga moved in, Helga disappeared and Jill left Jack for Hagar. If this sounds like a soap opera, it is! But it’s a real life, true as true can be owl soap opera that has taken place just outside of Houston, Minnesota and has formed the basis for our in-depth vocal study on Great Horned Owls.