Category Archives: Live Camera Feeds

International Owl Festival – Houston, MN

Since I love birds of prey, specifically owls it was essential that I attend the International Owl Festival in Houston, MN. So in early March 2015 we made the trip. We somehow managed to miss the Live Owl Program. We did however get to dissect owl pellets, allow the children to complete a plethora of arts and crafts and prowl the vendor booths. I was a little disheartened, as we had to physically leave the festival grounds and go to another location to see live owls. (Which I will get to in a minute.)

The festival was nothing like I had envisioned and I’m still not entirely sure it was worth the trip. However, it was a beautiful drive and it was nice to be out and about. I just somehow pictured this to be similar to a birds of prey forum that we had attended last year in Oshkosh where we learned more about the birds and their habits. I’m almost entirely positive this information would have been in the Live program, but I don’t know for sure.

About these live owls….it was sad. Maybe I have a big heart, maybe it’s because I haven’t ever killed anything bigger than a spider or maybe I’m just sensitive. Obviously, these birds are in captivity because they are unable to be reintroduced to the wild, but still it bothers me. It bothers me so much that I can’t bring myself to post the photos of them as they are depressing. You can learn more about the birds and their stories at the International Owl link above.

Hindsight if we were to go again, I would make sure that I was able to attend both days and fully experience all that the festival has to offer. I probably would not go to the off site location as it was simply an over priced gift shop with the birds tethered to a pole.

One item of interest is that they do have a live camera feed on two owls in captivity. It’s fascinating, but I am going to continue to search for a feed on owls out in their natural habitat. I haven’t had the time to do too much looking, but I’m sure they are out there.

Wolf River Camera

I fear that you are going to quickly find out that I am easily amused. So as you’ve probably figured out by now, I love the outdoors. When I’m not in them, I’m thinking about them or watching them. Ha, and now I’m blogging about them. I don’t have any followers yet, but it hasn’t stopped me from writing away. I find that I have all these interests and amazing adventures and no one to share them with (outside my immediate family). I will be patient as hopefully one day you will stumble upon my blog and have a passion for the outdoors like I do.

Any way, another item of interest for me is watching the sturgeon spawn. If you can’t make it to New London area to the Wolf River to physically watch you can watch one of the live cameras available at:

Wolf River Cam

There are a total of six cameras across the area that you can log in and watch. I don’t watch the cameras too often. Generally, once we find out the sturgeon are spawning we go for a drive and take a hike. On one occasion when we went to New London the WI DNR was there tagging the fish. To do this they caught the fish and physically removed them from the water. It was fascinating to see this first hand see such a prehistoric creature. They took measurements, weights and then placed the tags into the fish before releasing them.

I will try to go back into my photo archives and post some pictures for you to scroll through at your convenience.

Peregrine Falcon Camera

Live: Falcon Camera

Having previously lived in Oshkosh, I am well aware of the nesting Peregrine Falcons at UWO. Every spring I logon the site and eagerly await the babies to hatch. This year (Spring 2015) there are four eggs as of April 7th. I would encourage you to watch it’s pretty interesting once the eggs hatch and the parents start bringing in dead birds for feedings.

NOTE: The link above also has still photos that are taken every couple of minutes, so that you can easily flip through and pick out some exciting shots.

Great Horned Owl (Winnebago County)

This is by far one of the most memorable events in my life and holds signifiant meaning to me.

One fall 2011 evening I was telling my husband about how I had a desire to photograph owls. He laughed at me and explained that in order to do so that he was under the impression that  I would need to go out after dark. There was a brief discussion about contacting one of his friends that coyote hunts, to see if I might tag along. I gave up for the evening and we went to bed.

The next morning we decided to head out to Terrell’s Island. This is by far one of my favorite areas to hike and we often venture out on the weekend. The gated trail is accessible year round and the landscape and wildlife is simply breathtaking.  We took our Chocolate Lab so that he may get some practice in retrieving dummies before duck season opened for the season. (Ah yes, I am a duck hunting widow Oct-Dec each year. I will have to admit that since the girls were born that he has toned it down a bit. It’s hard for me to say anything as I knew this was his passion before I married him.)

Anyway, we went out to the peninsula and Jake was throwing the dummy and our daughter was playing in the grass looking for four leaf cloves with me. When Jake grabbed the dog and started calling for me to get over there. He sounded almost panicked…..

Down to his left about six feet away a Great Horned Owl was perched perfectly still on a log. I was so excited and overwhelmed I couldn’t even speak. In fact I started to cry. Having left my SLR camera at home I was armed solely with my cell phone, which significantly saddened me. However, the photos below aren’t that bad.

So I stayed back and took the initial photos as I really wasn’t sure how close I could safely get to the owl. Frankly, I was afraid it would fly away before I was able to get some good shots. (I’m a photography dork and feel the need to document most everything.)

As I got closer to the giant bird it began to make this real scary low growl/hiss. Looking at the size of his massive talons I felt that it might be in my best interest to respect his space bubble as I like where the features on my face currently are. I extended my arms as far as I could to take the remainder of these photos.

The reason this was so meaningful to me:

As we got closer the bird grew uncomfortable and tried to fly, but it had a broken wing and could only hop out to the end of the log. I also noticed that it was blind in one eye. At this particular time in my life my mom was days away of succumbing to cancer. I can’t really explain the emotion that was running through me, but it was powerful. It was almost like this maimed old Great Horned Owl was telling me it was okay to let her go. This is one of the most amazing days of my life.

**More of a funny after note: So we stumbled upon this bird on a Sunday afternoon and I just couldn’t stop thinking about it and I wanted to “fix” it. So I looked online and found several animal rescue programs in our area. Unfortunately, none of them were open on Sunday. I waited until Monday and tried to call again. I was able to get through to one of the places and they gave me some priceless advice. The lady I spoke with advised me to go back out to the peninsula (just to put this into perspective it’s about a half mile hike out from the parking area and inaccessible to the public to drive your personal vehicle out) with a cardboard box. She then instructed me to capture the owl and bring it to them in my car. Um, absolutely not!

I can’t even comprehend what would make that lady think her recommendation was even possible without further injury to the bird and/or my life. I contemplated sending her a photo of the bird I took and drawing attention to the razor sharp beak and talons that she asked me to take on, but refrained.

Please never attempt to capture a wild animal of any kind. 

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Here’s a link to the trails available at Terrell’s Island.