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Get wise to the wonders of the National Aviary's owls

Shirley McMarlin
| Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017, 9:00 p.m.
Tundra, a snowy owl, basks in the sunlight. at the National Aviary on Oct. 15, 2015. A snow owl is featured in the aviary's current 'Extraordinary Owls' programming.
Keith Hodan | Trib Total Media
Tundra, a snowy owl, basks in the sunlight. at the National Aviary on Oct. 15, 2015. A snow owl is featured in the aviary's current 'Extraordinary Owls' programming.
A Eurasian EagleOwl, such as this owlet photographed in 2013, will be part of the National Aviary's 'Extraordinary Owls' programming.
National Aviary
A Eurasian EagleOwl, such as this owlet photographed in 2013, will be part of the National Aviary's 'Extraordinary Owls' programming.
An Eastern Screech-Owl, such as this one photographed in 2014, will be part of the National Aviary's 'Extraordinary Owls' programming.
Roger Higbee
An Eastern Screech-Owl, such as this one photographed in 2014, will be part of the National Aviary's 'Extraordinary Owls' programming.
Attie, a year-old Burrowing Owl, was part of a new interactive show in 2016 at the National Aviary on Pittsburgh's North Side.
Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review
Attie, a year-old Burrowing Owl, was part of a new interactive show in 2016 at the National Aviary on Pittsburgh's North Side.

This fall, visitors to the National Aviary in Pittsburgh's North Side will have the opportunity to see more owls than ever before through special events and programming highlighting traits that all owl species share and characteristics unique to each one.

The “Extraordinary Owls” series will include:

• Owls on Exhibit, through spring 2018: New species on exhibit include the Verreaux's Eagle Owl, White-faced Scops Owl and Barred Owl. The aviary's Snowy Owl returns with cooler weather, while Burrowing Owls can be seen, along with daily free-flight bird shows.

• Owl Talks, 12:30 a.m. daily (included with admission): Learn about adaptations and traits that all owl species share, including hunting abilities, the way they turn their heads and their acute hearing.

• Private Owl Encounters, 3 p.m. daily: Get up close with one of the aviary's owl species, including the Eastern Screech Owl, Eurasian Eagle Owl or Spectacled Owl. Hold a bird on glove, take photos, dissect an owl pellet and learn ways to protect owls and their habitats.

Fee is $75. Call 412-258-9445 to register.

• Owl Brunch, seatings at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Oct. 15: Enjoy brunch by Atria's under a heated tent in the Rose Garden, along with special visits from extraordinary owls.

Fees: $37, non-member adult; $19.50, non-members ages 4-10; $32, member adult; $17, members ages 4-10; free to children 3 and under. Cost includes aviary admission; tickets are transferrable but not refundable. Space is limited; reservations are required at 412-258-9445.

• Owl Prowls, 7-9 p.m. Oct. 18 at Latodami Nature Center, North Park; Oct. 25 at Settlers Cabin Park; and Nov. 1 at Frick Environmental Center, Frick Park: Join National Aviary ornithologist Bob Mulvihill for a guided, after-dark nature walk to look and listen for owls. Each prowl will begin with an appearance by one of the aviary's owl ambassadors.

Fee is $10. Space is limited; registration is required at 412-258-9463 or audrey.beichner@aviary.org.

• Owl-o-Ween, 11 a.m-3 p.m. Oct. 21 and 28 (included with admission): Come in costume to the annual harvest festival and enjoy candy, crafts and close encounters and photo opportunities with raptors, owls and other creatures of the night.

Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-836-5750, smcmarlin@tribweb.com or via Twitter @shirley_trib.

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