Eva and her stepdaughter, Skyler, rescued and adopted a great horned owl. That experience sparked the writing of a children’s book, “A Hoot Story.”
How did you find the baby owl?
Skyler: There’s a path we had been walking with our dog, Dawn, and we found the owl at the base of a tree.
Eva: She matched the color of the tree, and we could have actually missed her if it weren’t for these big yellow eyes.
What did you all do?
Skyler: My dad ran back and got a bucket and gloves to scoop her up.
Eva: We were like, “Now what do we do?” After searching, we found the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey, so the next morning we drove down to Maitland to get her checked out.
What was the prognosis?
Eva: The baby owl (Athena) was fine. What they asked us first was if we saw the mother, and when we said yes they got excited because it meant they could bring her back. The mother goes through a mourning period and will wait around awhile for the baby to come back.
What did the center do?
Eva: About a week later they brought Athena back with a baby boy owl named Hermes for the mother to adopt. We saw them after a few months, and there were four owls back in our pines. We want to be careful interacting with them further, though, because we don’t want to imprint on them.
What has this experience done for you?
Skyler: Getting to see the owl and its family made me look at wildlife differently.
Eva: It was a life-changing thing for me; animals are more like us than we think.
How did it inspire you?
Eva: A mother owl will adopt and has great mothering instincts, and the father is involved as well and will teach them how to be an owl…how to fly and hunt. They have a strong family structure, which is something to be admired. This was a catalyst for me to write.
What do you want “A Hoot Story” to do?
Eva: We want to share the experience with others and encourage them to get outside. There’s a lot to learn just by going out in nature.