Public programs are offered each day the Owl Center is open at 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM. We also offer specially scheduled programs both on- and off-site for a variety of groups and organizations.
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.
Director's Tours are for groups of 1-4 people, are by appointment only, and last approximately 2 hours. The cost is $200 for members and $250 for non-members.
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.
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.
Name that Owl
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
Alice, Ruby, and Rupert and their wild neighbors are the basis for the first vocal study on Great Horned Owls. Experience the wide variety of hoots, chitters, and squawks and their associated behaviors in this PowerPoint/video presentation. A more scientific version of the program is also available. Our most popular adult program.
Owls in Need are Friends Indeed
High school, Road Scholar, Audubon
Owls in the United States and around the world face all kinds of threats, mostly human induced. Find out what you can do to help them.
Expert-Led New Year’s Eve Owl Prowl
Owls live all around us but are very good at evading detection. Come learn how to identify our local owls by size, shape, silhouette and sound with Karla Bloem, the leading authority on Great Horned Owl vocalizations, and one of the Owl Center’s live ambassador owls. Following the indoor portion of the program participants will carpool to known owl territories in and around Houston to call for Eastern Screech-Owls, Barred Owls, and Great Horned Owls.
Dress very warmly, and try to wear clothes that don’t make noise when you move. Calling will be done from the side of the road, so very little walking is required. Children are welcome, but must be able to stand quietly in the cold for at least 10 minutes at a time. Meet at the International Owl Center at 6:30 PM and expect to return between 9:00 and 10:00 PM. Hot beverages will be provided at the conclusion of the excursion.
SUMMER CAMPS for Adults and Children
Owlology 401 – For Adults
Thursday, July 30, 12:30 – 10:30 PM
$150 (must be a member to participate), includes dinner and snacks
Limit 6 people
Don't miss this exclusive opportunity to spend an afternoon and evening with The International Owl Center’s Executive Director, Karla Bloem, in a small group setting experiencing owls up close and in-depth. You will learn to identify area owls by sight and sound, see the fine details of owl anatomy first hand as an owl is dissected, get experience finding a transmitter using telemetry, go behind the scenes to meet the Owl Center’s live owls and see how they are housed and fed at night, and go on an owl prowl to call in wild owls. Participants need not stay for the owl prowl. Dinner is at Through the Grapevine German Restaurant, and is included in the fee.
Owlet Day Camp
Thursday, August 6; 9 AM-12 PM.
$20 for members, $25 for non-members
Limit: 15 persons, ages 7-9
Come learn about owls! What do they eat? How do they move so quietly? How do they survive in the wild? Register for the International Owl Center’s Owlet Day Camp for a morning of discovery, learning and fun! We will learn through games, crafts, hands on activities, and of course meet a live owl up close and personal!
Please note that some treats and activities will involve cheese and peanuts.
Presented by educator Sue Fletcher.
Fledgling Owl Camp
Thursday, August 13, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
$30 for members, $35 for non-members, includes snacks
Limit 20 people, ages 10-13
It’s a whole day about owls! Spend 6 hours at The International Owl Center learning how to identify local owls, drawing owls from live models, dissecting owl pellets, going on a scavenger hunt, taking part in a game show, and much more. Parents, please pack your child a lunch and a water bottle, and please arrive for pickup at 2:30 PM to watch your children’s skits about what they learned.
Presented by educator Jo Severson.