Kiwanis of Lufkin, TX

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Project No. 13 - Owl  and Vulture 2002

Spectacled Owls

Tropical rainforests from Mexico, Central America, and the northern two-thirds of South America.
Bats, mice, birds, insects, crabs and frogs.
Humans (Habitat destruction). Large snakes and mammals.
They get their name from the little "spectacle like" rings around their eyes. While mainly nocturnal, Spectacled owls are sometimes active during the day. Their nests are usually in tree hollows. Most of the time the female lays 1-2 eggs. Usually only one of the chicks survives. Young Spectacled owls are just the opposite of adults, with white heads and a blackish mask. They are up to 18 inches tall and weigh between 1-2 pounds. Females can make a screaming noise that sounds like a hawk. The Spectacled owl has excellent vision and will sit on a perch waiting for prey. When they spot it they will pounce on it.

The King Vulture, known as "king jan kro" in Belize, is the largest and most colorful of the four species of vulture in Belize. The extremely thick and strong bill is well adapted for tearing, and the long, thick claws for holding the meat. The King Vulture inhabit the forested lowlands of Belize. They will sometimes fly over savannas searching for dead meat. Their extremely keen eyesight and sense of smell allow them to locate potential food sources easily. They will often locate food by the presence of the other vulture species. Once the King Vulture lands, the other birds make way for it. Little is known of the King Vulture nesting habits. usually one chick is hatched, and it remains black for about three years before turning a pure white. Habitat destruction is the main cause of the decline of this species. Belize fortunately still protects healthy populations of this magnificent bird.


The pictures above are the birds at the Ellen Trout Zoo. These are additional pictures of the Spectacled Owl and King Vulture.


                                                            Adult                                                                               Baby


For the 2002 Project it was decided to build a bird sanctuary for the Spectacled Owl and King Vulture. The cage was to be located between the Sloth and Otter Exhibits. The project was started on April 4th and completed on June 22nd. Kiwanians contributed 192 man hours and $1800 for materials. Included in the man-hours were 31 man hours contributed by six Huntington Key Clubbers and the son and two grandsons of Charles Gabehart.

These Kiwanis projects at the zoo were started by Fred Jacobs of the Kiwanis Club and Gordon Henley, Zoo Director, in 1989. Each year since that time the Kiwanians under the direction of Jacobs and Henley have completed another exhibit at the Ellen Trout Zoo. Fred Jacobs is retiring from this project as of the completion of the 2002 exhibit. Starting in 2003, Charles Gabehart will take the lead in organizing the zoo projects. The thirteen exhibits completed under the direction of Fred Jacobs have been a great addition to the zoo.

For information on the construction of the project CLICK HERE.



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Original 4/13/03
Last updated 04/13/03
Page by F. Jacobs
and F. Preston