Library visitor has readers checking out more than books

GALLATIN COUNTY

POSTED: 7:22 PM Mar 13 2013   UPDATED: 7:29 PM Mar 13 2013
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

It's something you're more likely to see in the pages of a children's book  than a busy city park.

"I was so excited, I wanted to see the owl."

When Ella Semeraed heard a Great Grey Owl was spotted just outside the Bozeman Library, she put her books aside and went in search of the real thing.

Library staff say, the visitor made its first appearance Tuesday morning, hours before library doors opened.

"When I came into work, I heard people saying, 'oh, look at this!'"

Terri Dood is the reference and adult services supervisor.

"I asked what was going on and they said come look out the window...There was a large Great Grey Owl sitting on the bird feeder," says Dood.

And that's where she says the bird rested until mid-afternoon.

"It was sitting on top of the bird feeder waiting for mice to come and eat the seeds that had dropped from the bird feeder and we think that's why it was hanging around," explains Dood.

Dood says staff have reported hearing owls in the morning and late at night but says she can't be sure whether this owl is a resident or just passing through.

I wanted to see if I could catch a glimpse of the owl, so I camped out by a window where it was last spotted.

After a while, with no sign of the owl, Ella and I went outside to see if we could find any trace of the bird.  And we weren't alone.  It didn't take long for us to run into other folks on the same mission.

"People are very excited about seeing it, I think because owls are usually nocturnal and we don't often get to see them," says Dood.

While we didn't find the Great Grey visitor, Ella did pick up a book and a little souvenir.

"I was clawing the ground and then I lifted my head and I found this feather on the ground," Ella holds up the feather for a closer look.

She says she's excited to return to the library, to again look for the owl and it's feathers.  Yet, she has loftier goals.

"I also want to touch it but I'm not sure that will happen," Ella says with a smile.

She tells us, she thinks she knows why the owl hasn't been spotted since.
     
Ella says all the attention the bird's been getting has probably either scared away the owl or the mice the bird's been hunting.
     
But she says, according to her books, it could also be because owls are nocturnal and need to rest during the day so they can hunt at night.