By Chris Michlewicz
April 19, 2013
Excitement has surrounded the arrival of two temporary residents at a Parker senior living center.
A few weeks ago, the occupants of the Victorian House noticed that two Great Horned Owls had chosen a neighboring tree for their nest. Blending in among the gray-bark branches, the female sits sleepy-eyed but constantly on guard. A bird of prey expert from a nonprofit wildlife education organization who stopped by the retirement home April 11 said she believes the female is keeping eggs warm, and that they will hatch any day.
Devin Paszek, founder of Aurora-based Nature’s Educators, gave a presentation to the Victorian House seniors, as well as a group of kindergartners from the Parker Montessori School up the street who were invited to attend. Paszek engaged the audience with fun facts about birds of prey, and even elicited a few incredibly smart answers from the kindergarteners, who recently finished a lesson on owls.
“I’m glad the kids came today,” a woman in the audience said with a laugh.
Then, Nature’s Educators volunteer Karen Mammen brought out a tiny owl that gave a series of steady, spirited chirps. Arktos, weighing in at a mere five ounces, is a screech owl that is unable to return to the wild, like the other birds that the 501c3 looks after. Athena, a Great Horned Owl with a tenuous temperament, was the next guest. She was taken in after losing a wing when she landed on an exposed power transformer.