Giving A Hoot: Students Rally to Protect Burrowing Owl

What: Presentation and DVD screening on the Western Burrowing Owl, subject of Mount Madonna School’s 5th Grade Class current environmental project.

When: Wednesday, January 18, 6:30pm – 8:30pm. Reservation requested; contact Kathy Fieberling at (831) 345-1226 or

Where: Fitz Wetlands Educational Resource Center, located at the top of the Pajaro Valley High School campus, 500 Harkins Slough Road, Watsonville

For the past several months, fifth grade students at Mount Madonna School, under the guidance of teachers and project mentors Sri Gyan McCaughan and Jessica Cambell, have been studying the Western Burrowing Owl and looking at ways they can help save this threatened animal. On January 18, the class will present a summary of their research at a public presentation designed to educate the community and teach others how they can help protect this important species.

“The burrowing owl is important because without it, its symbiotic relationships – with ground squirrels and prairie dogs – would break and each animal could become extinct,” warns fifth grader Camden Diskowski. Classmate Jules Barivan agrees: “It is very important to learn how to save our ecosystems.”

The students will talk about native habitat restoration efforts, including how replanting native species can help remove harmful nitrates, phosphates and pesticides from the soil; an upcoming slough clean-up, and their class’ contribution to the Santa Clara Valley Habitat Conservation Plan.

One highlight of the presentation will be the screening of the students’ humorous and educational DVD, “Give A Hoot: It’s Foul to Hurt the Burrowing Owl.” The DVD was written, acted, filmed, edited and sold by the students. Proceeds from the sales will be used to support local efforts to restore and protect owl habitat.

“People should come to see our presentation so they can see what we are doing to the world and how they can save the owl by changing little things,” urges ten-year-old Eleanor Harrington.
For more information on the Burrowing Owl project, contact Mount Madonna School at (408) 847-2717 or .


Contact: Leigh Ann Clifton, Media & Communications

Nestled among the redwoods on 355 mountaintop acres, Mount Madonna is a safe and nurturing college-preparatory school that supports students in becoming caring, self-aware and articulate critical thinkers, who are prepared to meet challenges with perseverance, creativity and integrity. The CAIS and WASC accredited program emphasizes academic excellence, creative self-expression and positive character development. Located on Summit Road between Gilroy and Watsonville.