World Owl Hall of Fame Awards coming to Minnesota!

Alan Stankevitz/International Festival of Owls

Alan Stankevitz/International Festival of Owls

The Oscars. The Grammys. The James Beard Awards, which include several Minnesota chef/restaurateur nominees in 2018. The World Owl Hall of Fame Awards. 

Just one of those award ceremonies is coming to Houston, Minnesota, from March 2-4 -- the owl one! The International Festival of Owls -- the world's premier owl event -- is upon us, and the World Owl Hall of Fame Awards are a major part of the 16th annual celebration of owls. 

The Owlies, as they should be called, are reserved for humans who contribute to the world of owls, not the birds themselves. The 2018 class of inductees includes Finland's Dr. Erkki Korpimäki, longtime Boreal Owl researcher; South Africa's Jonathan Haw, champion of the Urban Owl Box Project; and California's Lisa Owens Viani, founder of Raptors are the Solution (RATS).

The International Festival of Owls launched in 2003 as a "hatch-day" party for Alice the Great Horned Owl, who's (whooooo's?) something of an owl celeb on the local birder scene. Last year's festival attracted more than 2,300 attendees to tiny Houston, population 979.

Among this year's activities: the big banquet, live owl demonstrations, a birding bus trip, art and hooting contests for kids, a medallion hunt, the owl prowl, nest box building, owl-themed food, owl pellet dissections, an owl photography contest, a raffle, vendors, and more. 

The fest is a fundraiser for Houston's International Owl Center. Its mission? "Making the world a better place for owls." Click here for registration and ticket info. 

In the meantime, let's all enjoy this clip of baby owls muggin' for the camera.