Skip to main content

Can I get a w(h)oot? Minnesota hosts international owl fest


The southeastern Minnesota town of Houston, population 979, is welcoming a parliament of up to 2,000 bird lovers Friday-Sunday for the annual International Festival of Owls.

The event marks a big weekend for owl fans, who gather for speeches, an owl hall-of-fame ceremony, photo lessons and live owl programs.

The festival is also a boon to local businesses in Houston, which is home to the International Owl Center, the La Crosse Tribune reports.

The 12th annual event is being launched this year with a fundraising effort to build a new owl center building.

How did this event land in southeastern Minnesota? Here's more about the festival's backstory and how it ended up in Houston – it starts with the tale of Alice, a rescued owlet that fell from a nest in 1997.

If you can't make it, here's a couple of owl livecams.

Also from the owl center, two videos:

Here's a Great Horned Owl named Rusty guarding his eggs:

In this clip, you can faintly hear the chittering of a hatching owlet, which has punctured its way to the air sac at the end of its egg, as its parents hoot in the background.

Next Up

st anthony 3 crop

Twin Cities police ask for help finding missing 16-year-old

Police say all her family and friends have been contacted, and none of them know where she is.

mpd suspect 12.3.21 - 1 - CROP

MPD releases photos of shooting suspect, asks for public's help

The man is wanted in connection with a fatal shooting that happened Wednesday evening.

redmons popcorn colbert 2

Support grows for Redmon's Popcorn after shop's sudden closure

The county also commented on the situation, saying it hopes to help owner Zack Redmon.

prior lake high school

Prior Lake HS investigating another 'racist' video involving student

The principal said the social media video was reported to them this week.

Screen Shot 2021-12-03 at 3.08.27 PM

Walz: Minnesota has secured 1 million rapid, at-home COVID tests for kids

It comes as the delta variant continues to surge in Minnesota, and the omicron variant might follow.

boundary waters

Forest Service limiting permits to BWCAW due to damage, overcrowding

Visitors have been cutting down trees and have been forced to compete for campsites.

police lights

Lockdown update: Armed man threatened to go to Kimball High School

A high school and elementary school near St. Cloud went into lockdown as a precaution.

chaska sewer

People in Chaska are flushing the wrong crap down the toilet

Water and sewer crews in Chaska have had to clean the same pump four times in the past seven days.

Brian O'Neill

Matthew Coller: What if the Vikings didn't have Detroit?

The Lions have been like two freebies on the Vikings' schedule the past three seasons.

water drain

MN will get $116M for water projects as part of infrastructure package

Nationwide, $7.4 billion will be distributed for projects next year.


3rd teenage death from COVID-19 reported in Minnesota

All three of the teenage deaths have occurred in the past three months.