Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Owls benefit from 8-year-old girls' shared birthday wish

Ocean Unger, left, and Averi Miller blow out the candles on matching owl-themed cakes at a joint eighth birthday party.

Courtesy of the Unger family

Ocean Unger, left, and Averi Miller blow out the candles on matching owl-themed cakes at a joint eighth birthday party.

Ocean Unger of Clearwater and her best friend Averi Miller of Largo share a love of nature.

Their interest even spurred them to create an Owl Club at Largo's Country Day School, where they attend second grade.

Ocean has been intrigued with owls for the past several years. Her interest grew during a trip to Ireland this summer where she handled a Harris hawk and saw other birds of prey, including two large owls, at the Ireland School of Falconry.

Averi has always been an animal lover and has a menagerie of pets including a dog, cat, ball python and leopard gecko. Over the years, she's made frequent family outings and field trips to McGough Nature Park, which always included a visit to the owls.

For their eighth birthdays this year, the girls made a very unusual request. Instead of bikes, toys or games, the two young ladies asked party guests to donate money to the Clearwater Audubon Society, with special attention to the Birds of Prey exhibit at McGough Nature Park, located at 11901 146th St. N, Largo.

Their guests rallied to the cause and a donation in the amount of $250 was made toward the care and upkeep of several varieties of owls as well as a hawk, all part of McGough Nature Park's Birds of Prey exhibit. The birds are there because of former injuries that prevent them from being able to survive in the wild.

According to Pat Edmond, president of the Friends of the Largo Nature Parks, "the money will be used to pay for food, by far and away our biggest expense. Some of the donations we receive are also used to purchase equipment and supplies for the birds." The park's traveling nature programs also benefit from contributions.

Ocean and Averi have been invited to McGough Nature Park the first week of January, where they will learn about the daily care and feeding of the birds of prey and will help with duties volunteers perform every day.

Mail Good For You items to Tampa Bay Times, 1130 Cleveland St., Suite 100-A, Clearwater, FL 33755; fax to (727) 445-4119; or email nbeall@tampabay.com.

Owls benefit from 8-year-old girls' shared birthday wish 12/13/13 [Last modified: Friday, December 13, 2013 4:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa man crashes into parked cars, gate at the Islamic Society of Tampa Mosque

    Crime

    A Tampa man intentionally drove his pick-up truck into two parked vehicles before smashing through the locked gate of the Islamic Society of Tampa Mosque, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

    Shaun H. Urwiler, 42, was arrested July 16 for intentionally driving his pick-up truck into two parked vehicles before smashing through the locked gate of the Islamic Society of Tampa Mosque, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  2. USF hoops to play at Indiana in November

    Blogs

    The USF men's basketball team is set to get an early test from a Big Ten powerhouse in non-conference play next season.

  3. Last steel beam marks construction milestone for Tom and Mary James' museum

    Growth

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom and Mary James on Wednesday signed their names to the last steel beam framing the 105-ton stone mesa that will be built at the entrance of the museum that bears their name: the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art.

    The topping-out ceremony of the James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art was held Wednesday morning in downtown St. Petersburg. Mary James (from left), husband Tom and Mayor Rick Kriseman signed the final beam before it was put into place. When finished, the $55 million museum at 100 Central Ave. will hold up to 500 pieces of the couple's 3,000-piece art collection. [Courtesy of James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art]
  4. Florida's school grades improve as educators get the hang of a new system

    Testing

    Following a trend, Florida's school grades showed strong gains in the third year after the state changed its grading formula and the standardized tests that students take every year.

    After finding out earlier Wednesday that her school went from a low C to an A,  Bear Creek Elementary principal Willette Houston celebrates with her students in the YMCA After School program at the school in St. Petersburg. Houston is giving a high five to rising fifth grader Jonaven Viera. Rising 4th grader Jonathan Cafaro is in foreground with his back to camera. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]
  5. Tampa Bay woman, 11-year-old boy had sex up to 20 times the year their baby was born, detectives say.

    Crime

    TAMPA — A woman sexually battered an 11-year-old Brandon boy, got pregnant and raised the baby for three years before a tip led to her arrest, Hillsborough County sheriff's officials said.

    Marissa Mowry, now 25,  had sex as many as 20 times in 2014 with a boy who was 11 when he impregnated her, Hillsborough County detectives allege. [Photo courtesy of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office]