Owl Adventures is a mobile zoo and educational business which has a static display on the grounds of the Museum Gardens in York, UK. While visiting York with the Englishman, we wandered across the display of owls in the garden. I veered from the path so I could watch all of the owls, each sitting atop a stand. The Englishman’s father generously paid for me to hold an owl while learning about it. There was a variety of owls of all shapes and sizes and I had difficulty choosing just one. The Englishman picked out the tiniest owl for me. The falconer placed a colossal leather glove on my hand and presented me with George, the American ground owl. We had to move slightly away from the larger owls because they were making George nervous. Apparently George could be a “meal” in the real world. Not only could I hold George and stroke his soft feathers under his head, I was given a lesson on him, too.
American ground owls or burrowing owls eat insects, small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and other birds depending on the time of year and what is available. The beetle is a favorite meal. A burrowing owl is most active at dawn and dusk. They live in burrows dug by other animals in open, treeless spaces, and in the United States and they are often found in burrows of prairie dogs.
I was smitten with the bitty bird. He was calm and seemed to enjoy being touched just as much as I enjoyed having the owl perched on my gloved hand. So, while I did so many touristy things in York including exploring York Minister, walking a part of the wall, strolling through the town and floating down the river on the tour boat, the best part was the chance to hold an owl on a beautiful fall afternoon.