Young great-horned owlets attract small crowd near Fine Arts


Carly Philpott

One of two young owlets sighted today on the lawn between East and Fine Arts stares at onlookers and the photographer. A third owlet was also reported in the East Courtyard. These owlets will be moved to safety by professionals. With nearly 360 degrees of motion in the neck, owls can hold eye contact with you even if you’re behind it.

Carly Philpott, Editor-in-Chief

Creek’s critter saga deepened this week as multiple young great-horned owlets were sighted on campus.

This Monday and Friday, two approximately two-week-old owlets were stranded on the grass between the East and Fine Arts Buildings and in the East Courtyard. Students and staff gathered around to see the owlets between classes and after school.

“We have at least two baby owls, possibly three, on campus,” security officer Eric Rutherford said. “The nest is actually right over here at the trees closest to the kiosk. I think there might be two nests in those trees.”

At this age, it’s difficult to tell whether the owlets were trying to fledge or whether they fell. It’s not uncommon for young owls to fall out of nests, and because of the small feather size on these owlets, that’s most likely what happened to them. The school sent security guards to keep Creek’s owlets safe while professionals were on the way to pick the birds up.

Student bystanders took pictures and videos of the owlets. Many of them were surprised to see owls on campus.

Sophomore Amelia Dundon had been watching the owl from her class. “Ms. Doyle’s English 10H class has watched this owl, and it’s a long journey, after being found by the security and calling upon the Birds of Prey Society, to help us ensure its safety,” Dundon said.

These are likely not the same owls that have been sighted at Creek in past years. According to All About Birds, owl nests often become so derelict in one nesting season that they cannot be used again.

These owlets are not the only young birds that were born at Creek this year. Last week, Creek’s annual brood of ducklings also emerged for the first time. Since Creek has multiple courtyards that aren’t often frequented by students and staff, wildlife often stays here long-term – including nesting families.

Still, the phenomenon of baby owls is enticing.

“It’s big epic,” sophomore Avi Grope said.

Students and staff who were gathering around the baby owls all said that seeing baby birds on campus definitely brightened their day.

“It’s really cute, but it’s also really weird to see an owl,” sophomore Giselle Marians said. “I’ve never seen an actual owlet before, and it’s great.”