Assistant Naturalist Christina Funk introduces Samantha the owl and also expresses her gratitude and enthusiasm for a permanent owl structure during an Oct. 14 groundbreaking ceremony at the Stage Nature Center in Troy.

Assistant Naturalist Christina Funk introduces Samantha the owl and also expresses her gratitude and enthusiasm for a permanent owl structure during an Oct. 14 groundbreaking ceremony at the Stage Nature Center in Troy.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Work begins on owl structure at Troy nature center

By: Eric Czarnik | Troy Times | Published October 21, 2020

 Local dignitaries and supporters gather outside for the ceremony.

Local dignitaries and supporters gather outside for the ceremony.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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TROY — A permanent home for hoots has started to take root at Troy’s nature center.

Troy city officials presided over a groundbreaking event Oct. 14 for an upcoming permanent owl structure at the Troy Nature Society’s Stage Nature Center. The event was attended by Troy Mayor Ethan Baker and other local officials.

Currently, the nature center is home to five owls: Arguile, Autumn, Mortimer, Rito and Sam.

The nature society says it adopted the owls after a caretaking organization that rehabilitated them disbanded. The owls are still injured to the point that they can’t live independently in the wild, so the nature center uses them as educational animal ambassadors in its programming.

Up until now, these owls have dwelt in a temporary spot.

According to Troy Nature Society Executive Director Carla Reeb, a permanent structure will be 38 feet by 25 feet, and it will hold three separate enclosures for the birds.

“Owls eat rats, snakes, rodents,” Reeb said. “But these owls cannot take care of themselves. ... We’re helping them.”

In a statement, nature center President David Lambert called the owls’ educational role at the nature center “unique and exceptional.”

“We are looking forward to holding the dedication ceremonies of the newly constructed owl residence in the near future,” he said.

Since 2018, the nature society, its supporters and the city have pooled their efforts into fundraising, since the structure will cost around $145,000 to build. Reeb said the project has secured all of the money thanks to an estimated $95,000 city contribution.

Out of the other $50,000 raised, about $15,000 of that came from various fundraisers organized by a local Scout, Wyatt Lucas, Reeb said.

The Stage Nature Center is located at 6685 Coolidge Highway in Troy. Its exhibit hall is open, except holidays, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays. The trails are accessible every day from dawn till dusk.

To learn more about the Stage Nature Center or to donate, visit troynaturesociety.org/get-involved/owls/ or call (248) 688-9703.

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