Predators in Prather Park

She’s a “silent killer,” and she may be living in your backyard. But she’s the kind of predator you want to have around — she’s after cockroaches and mice. 

In the wild, she camouflages in trees and flies noiselessly with the help of soft feathers that cover her from beak to feet. But residents got a close-up view of an Eastern Screech Owl the morning of June 7 thanks to programming from the Highland Park Library.

The library, in partnership with the Parks Department, hosted three birds from the Blackland Prairie Raptor Center in Prather Park. In addition to Pepper the Eastern Screech Owl, residents had a chance to meet Missi the Mississippi Kite and Cleo the American Kestrel.

Volunteer presenter Roland Galvanin shared facts about each bird with the audience, as well as tips on how to make the area a more welcoming place for them. He said residents should avoid littering and rodenticide, which can poison birds as well as rodents. Gardeners should also water down fertilizer, since pellets can burn birds who spend too long standing on them.

Eight-year-old Michael Petty answered questions about the types of raptors found in North Texas, knowledge he’d gained by reading books. He said that the owl was his favorite bird in the presentation. “I really like owls. I think they’re just cute. I also really just think birds are cute, period.”

Laurie Harper brought her grandson to the park to watch the presentation, which she said was excellent. “The library is just so amazing, at the wealth of the programs,” she said. “They do a spectacular job.”

The Highland Park Library’s calendar is packed with activities for area readers. Upcoming events include Storytime with Eric Nadel at 1 p.m. on June 19, and The Duelists, an exhibition of swordplay, at 10 a.m. on June 28 in Prather Park.

Click HERE to learn more about the library’s summer programs.

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