Papa G’Ho puffs out his feathers and claps his beak. He’s
angry. Get back, human! This baby is mine!
CLACK! CLACK! CLACK! Baby owl puffs out its feathers
and claps its beak, too. That’s right, human! Back off!
Papa G’Ho, with his flattened “horns”—tufts of feathers that
look like ears—is one grumpy owl. As a surrogate father he’s
teaching the little owlet to be wary of humans. And that’s a
good thing. Without this wariness, the baby owl, even when
an adult, would not be able to survive in the wild.
The owlet, patient #16-0097, was brought to the
Wildlife Center of Virginia when it was about three
weeks old. Loggers clearing trees had destroyed its
nest. One of the loggers found the baby great horned
owl, just a bundle of fluffy down, and brought it to
CLACK! CLACK! CLACK!
by Dionna L. Mann
text © 2019 by Dionna L. Mann
Did You Know?
Great horned owls adapt
to many habitats, living
from the Arctic to South
America, in deserts and
swamps, in grasslands
Patient #16-0097 and Papa G’Ho
A SURROGATE IS A
STAND-IN OR SUBSTITUTE.