Tucked away in the very southeastern corner of Minnesota, Houston may not seem like an obvious travel destination for people from around the country, or the world.
But this past weekend, it was – owl experts and fans of the wise, winged creatures all converged on Houston High School for the 13th Annual International Festival of Owls.
According to WXOW, presenters came from Italy, the Netherlands and Arizona to discuss owls, who also made some "in person" appearances themselves. The station counts a Snowy Owl, a Short-eared Owl, a Barred Owl and others among the event's honored guests.
In addition to providing up-close-and-personal views of the captive birds, the festival seems to have been a real hoot.
According to the event's website, activities included "owl prowls" (guided wild owl-watching trips), a "hooting contest" for the kids, and, for those with strong stomachs and a real passion for the creatures, an owl pellet dissection (at $5 per pellet).
The festival is something the whole town gets in on, apparently. According to the event's Facebook page, a local grocery was selling owl cookies, while owl lovers in need of a pick-me-up could enjoy "owl-themed coffee" at Barista's Coffee Shop. Meanwhile, a Lutheran church served up an "owl face" pancake breakfast.
In case you missed out on the fun, Houston is also home to the International Owl Center (the similar name isn't a coincidence; the same folks who run it also organize the festival), where you can meet a few of the birds and talk to experts four days a week.