CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A barred owl that now serves as a goodwill ambassador for Birds of Prey has an interesting trick.
It "hoots" on command, responding to people who first "hoot" at it.
The owl, estimated to be about seven years old, demonstrated the talent during an interview with Meghan Sparkman from the Center for Birds of Prey and Mary Roberts with he Southeastern Wildlife Exhibition. The annual event, known as SEWE, is being held Friday through Sunday in downtown Charleston.
The owl came to the center as a chick, Sparkman said, because some "very well-meaning but not very well-informed people" found him when he was young, fed him, and inadvertently changed who (or what) he thinks he is.
"Now he associates with people," she said. "It means we can't release him back into the wild, but we can use him as an educational ambassador."
Sparkman demonstrated the talent by "hooting" at the owl, who immediately leaned forward and returned the call.
You can see the owl during some of the center's flight demonstrations through the weekend.