Superb Owl, the annual celebration of all things owl which evolved from a tweeted typo about a super bowl party in 2008, is upon us. Did you know that owls have excellent hearing, which helps them catch prey? Seems like the perfect time to highlight some recently published audiobooks about owls.
Carl Safina's Alfie and Me chronicles Safina's relationship with an injured screech owl rescued as a baby. When the owl, named Alfie by Safina, is scheduled to be released, he realizes that her feathers haven't grown in properly and she's unable to fly. This requires a longer period of care than anticipated and allows time for bonding with Safina and his wife. Eventually, Alfie successfully fledges, and Safina is delighted when she returns a week later. Continuing to thrive close to Safina's home, Alfie attracts a mate and has babies of her own. Safina's warm voice conveys the awe and affection he feels toward Alfie.
Jonathan Slaght's Owls of the Eastern Ice explores the author's research into the Blackiston's Fish Owl, a five year project that began when Slaght was a Ph. D. student in Russia. Slaght became enthralled with this elusive and endangered species, the largest owl in existence. He narrates with quiet intensity, painting a vivid picture of the snowy old growth forests of Primorye, where Blackiston habitats are found.
In What An Owl Knows, nature writer Jennifer Ackerman explores exciting new discoveries about owl biology and behavior. For example, more is now understood about how owls communicate with each other and what different sounds indicate. Ackerman's concise narration educates and delights as she describes these revelations as well as myriad representations of owls in art, architecture, and literature throughout human history.
A recent fictional account of an owl is Claire Oshetsky's Chouette, a novel about a human woman who gives birth to a baby owl. Narrated by Julia Whelan with the emotional range required of such a strange, allegorical story, Chouette illustrates the wrenching, all consuming, sometimes animalistic and primal love between mother and child.
A hilarious example of how Superb Owl has permeated popular culture, season two of the vampire comedy series What We Do in the Shadows contains an episode in which our lovable vampires attend their Staten Island neighbors' super bowl party expecting to meet a superb owl.
How do you celebrate Superb Owl? Let us know in the comments.