Do you have a knack for naming your pets? Want to make a lasting impression on visitors to an Urbana hot spot? Love owls?
Then take a stab at naming the newest resident of the Anita Purves Nature Center — a red female screechowl. She arrived at the nature center on May 11 and was put on public display in July. The public is encouraged to offer name suggestions through August 18, either in person at the Anita Purves Nature Center or by sending an email with “owl name” in the subject line to email@example.com.
The screech owl was found January 4 along a northern Illinois road, suffering from severe head trauma. Her right eye was severely injured, and so it was removed at Willowbrook Wildlife Center in Glen Ellyn.
“Initially she had no vision in her left eye, but by January 13 she was eating on her own and had regained some vision in the left eye,” Environmental Program Manager Judy Miller said in a news release.”The feathers around the eye have grown back now, so it looks like she’s winking.”
The new owl shares a home with fellow screech owls, Owly and Quasi. They can be found in a large cage in the room that also contains the turtles and the working bee hive.
I’m figuring that although the owl isn’t white, Hedwig (Harry Potter’s owl in the popular children’s book series) will be a serious contender, along with Pigwidgeon, (Evidently Percy’s owl was a screech owl, but had no official name). However, on our visit, we submitted a different name: Chambana Owl. Not too creative, huh.
In addition to offering help to name the new owl, there are other ways to get involved with the animals at Anita Purves Nature Center – help support their food and medical care through its ”adoption” program.
Any of the animals — owls, snakes and turtles — at the center can be “adopted.” Adoption levels range from a month to a year. And while the animal stays with the park district, those adopting will be recognized for their contribution to the animal’s overall health.
“Every year we have an event for all our adopting individuals and families. They come to the nature center and interact with the animals up close and see how they have helped each one,” said Environmental Office Manager Jackie Vaiden in the news release.
Animal adoption is available as a unique gift; school classrooms have also adopted animals for a year, which includes a one-time classroom visit from a staff member and the animal.
(To find out more about the animal adoption program, click to download an animal adoption brochure.)