Great Horned Owls

Keith Yahl / Flickr

With the official start of spring just a week away, more and more wildlife is emerging from the thawing winter undergrowth. If you’re listening from a rural area, you’ve likely already heard an increase in morning bird song, for example. But even in urban areas, where habitat is harder to come by, entire ecosystems can survive, if given the right space.

Stretching across almost 1,400 acres in St. Louis, Forest Park is one of the biggest urban parks in the country. While its most famous inhabitants are the number of exotic animals that live in the St. Louis Zoo, the park is also home to countless native species, including a great-horned owl named Charles.


The Owl Man Knows all about Charles and Sarah

Jan 6, 2015
Gary Grigsby

It all began nine years ago when Mark Glenshaw was walking in the 1,400 acre Forest Park near his home in St. Louis.

He had been doing this regularly for several years but this time out he said he saw two great horned owls in the park.  "The first sighting I had set a really high benchmark.  Just was instant addiction.  In 20-30 minutes I saw them hoot together, duet, a beautiful vocal and visual display.  I saw them fly.  Powerful, graceful, silent flyers.  And then I saw one of them chase a great blue heron, a bird twice its size and I was completely hooked."