Annual Owl-O-Ween event held at Oak Mountain State Park

Published 10:49 am Tuesday, November 1, 2022

By LIZZIE BOWEN | Staff writer

 PELHAM – Spreading their wings to fly, two owls made their way back into the wild and their natural habitat at Alabama Wildlife Center’s Owl-O-Ween event.

Owl-O-Ween is an annual event held by the Alabama Wildlife Center in Oak Mountain State Park to release owls back into the wild and educate children in a fun way about the raptors.

Owl-O-Ween was held on Saturday, Oct. Oct. 30 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Chris Sykes is the executive director of the Alabama Wildlife Center and was present during the event.

Upon first entering the facility, a photo opportunity with an owl was made readily available to those in attendance to get their photo with the raptors.

“Owl-O-Ween has been an event we have traditionally done in the past for families and their children,” Sykes said.

The two owls present for the release were both been rehabilitated by the Alabama Wildlife Center. One of the two owls was struck by a vehicle and injured while the other had fallen from a nest and faced significant head trauma.

A family present at the Owl-O-Ween event was given the privilege of releasing the raptor back into the wild.

Andre Arnold, the director of outreach, had an owl named Coosa perched on his arm. Coosa was named after the Coosa River.

“About 21 years ago, Coosa came here,” Arnold said. “Coosa is our oldest club trained ambassador.”

Arnold gave facts about the owls to those in attendance, ranging from the size of the owls to the flexibility of the owls’ heads.

“The boys are smaller than the girls,” Arnold said. “Owls can turn their heads about 270 degrees.”

Both owls released into the wild were unnamed and have undergone a full recovery thanks to the Alabama Wildlife Center and its commitment to rehabilitating injured raptors.

“They will live a good life,” Sykes said of the two owls.

More information about Owl-O-Ween and the Alabama Wildlife Center can be found at