Everyone wants to see an owl in the wild, but owls are really good at not being seen. When they are found, owls tend to attract crowds, and often people are not aware of how they should behave to avoid stressing out the owls. This presentation illustrates the behaviors of relaxed owls and stressed owls as well as lays out a list of things to do and not to when observing or photographing owls.
Karla Bloem is the founder and Executive Director of the International Owl Center. She acquired Alice the Great Horned Owl to use in educational programs in 1998 and began studying Great Horned Owl vocalizations in 2004. Karla is now the world authority on their vocalizations and has given presentations around the world. Alice’s popularity led Karla to create the International Festival of Owls, the first full-weekend, all-owl event in North America that has served as the inspiration for similar festivals in Italy, Nepal and India. Karla and Alice testified before the Minnesota House and Senate environment committees to successfully gain protection for Great Horned Owls in 2005. Karla received the Brother Theodore Voelker Award from the Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union in 2001, a Bush Leadership Fellowship in 2008, and a Special Achievement Award from the World Owl Hall of Fame in 2021. She has assisted several authors and filmmakers and has appeared on Animal Planet and the CBC’s “The Secret Life of Owls.”