Artemis and her bird handler Randi Perlman traveled to Kodiak to observe International Migratory Bird Day on Saturday.
More than 150 people showed up to the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center to see the owl and participate in other bird-related activities.
“It’s really special to have a bird, and somebody handling it flying in just for this,” said refuge center manager Ava Kahn.
Perlman frequently travels with Artemis across Alaska to do different presentations about owls and the Bird Treatment and Learning Center, where Artemis was originally cared for after an injury.
Perlman has taken care of Artemis for nine years. Artemis is unable to survive in the wild due to a broken wing that never healed properly.
Questions flew from both children and adults, as everyone tried to learn about the unique bird.
“It’s very rare to see a great horned owl in Kodiak,” Audubon member Stacy Studebaker said.
The Kodiak Audubon Society partnered with the wildlife refuge and Alaska Geographic to host the event.
“We have been doing this on and off for 20 years,” Studebaker said. “We try to bring in a live bird each year. Last year we didn’t have a bird, so we made up for it this year with an owl.”
In past years planners have brought different types of owls, hawks and eagles to Kodiak.
International Migratory Bird Day is officially celebrated in the U.S. and Canada on the second Saturday in May, but is sometimes celebrated later if migratory birds haven’t arrived yet. The day is celebrated in October in Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean.
International Migratory Bird Day is meant to create public awareness and concern for migratory bird conservation.
“We hope to increase awareness of bird biology and conservation issues by hosting an IMBD event,” Kodiak Audubon president Cindy Trussel said.
Using donated supplies, around 100 kids built bird feeders with the help of event volunteers and parents.
Refuge biologist Robin Corcoran held a bird banding demonstration and discussed the refuge citizen science program, a summer program that catches and tracks local songbirds.
Contact Mirror writer Nicole Klauss at firstname.lastname@example.org.