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Hoot and Holla The Garden’s Resident Barn Owls are in the house!


While Hoot (Dad) is out hunting, Holla (Mom) decided to start a blog while she was roosting.

Follow their journey with us! 


Friday, March 16, 2018

It’s been over a week now and Hoot and Holla are staying close!  They are in the box every night and Holla is usually in the nesting box all day.  Here are some interesting barn owl facts:

  • Barn Owls usually have a hunting range of 2-3 miles from their nesting box
  • The barn owl is the most widely distributed species of owl
  • Barn Owls screech – they never hoot
  • A wild Barn Owl usually eats about 4 small mammals every night, that’s 1,460 per year!
  • Barn Owls ears are lopsided, one is higher than the other for triangulation of sound
  • Barn Owls eyes are fixed (not moveable) that is why they have the very cool adaptation of turning their head 270 degrees

Holla:  Wow it’s been quite a week Hoot!  We’ve  seen Albert Einstein Academy again (they must love The Garden as much as I do) and Kempton Elementary Earth Heroes, Tomatomania was awesome,  San Diego State Geography Class looked very smart while they were on tour today, but I think my highlight was The San Diego Gulls!

Hoot: The San Diego Gulls hockey team was here?

Holla: Uh, no Hoot but The Garden and Ms. Smarty-Plants™ were honored at the ice rink on Tuesday as the Community Spotlight!  Don’t you keep up on Facebook Hoot?

Hoot:  Oh

Holla:  The Expert Forum is happening on Sunday so I’ll be watching from my perch to learn about capturing rain water, even though I’m nocturnal I don’t want to miss it.

Hoot:  Well I’ll probably be sleeping in the Palm tree.

Holla:  Of course you will!


Friday, March 9, 2018

Holla: “Hoot did you see Ms. Smarty-Plants on KUSI TV on Wednesday?  She did great!  I smiled for the camera because Allie and the cameraman Mike took a shot of owl box!

Scott from Tomatomania did great too can’t wait to see all those plants he brings this weekend”

Hoot: “I did see it Holla I was watching from the big palm tree.  Tomatomania will be fun this weekend at The Garden”

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Holla: “Another great day here at The Garden Hoot”. I got to see my Earth Heroes from Albert Einstein Academy and from Davila”.

Hoot:. “I know they were so excited!

Oh by the way Holla, how did you like dinner last night I brought your favorite?”

Holla: ” Thanks Hoot, it was yummy but I’m really full..I ate the whole thing”


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Hoot and Holla have returned to the owl box and as suspected, the 5 eggs previously laid were not viable, but with their return Holla may lay more!  Let’s watch and see!


Friday, March 2, 2018

Hello Everyone!

Nature is both amazing and can sometimes be worrisome to us humans.

Both Hoot and Holla have been away from the nesting box for a day and the eggs have been unattended.  Although it is unusual for the female to leave the eggs, this can occur for a variety of reasons, the most common almost always because the female is underweight and/or needing more food.  If the male cannot provide enough food the female will then help with the hunting. The eggs in the nest box may not be viable, but with the return of Holla there is a good chance she will lay more eggs.

We will be watching for the return of Hoot and Holla!


Thursday, March 1, 2018

Holla:  Hoot I have a little surprise for you…egg number 5!

Hoot:  Do I need a third job?


Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Holla:  I was so excited to see all my Earth Heroes from Veteran’s Elementary today!  They were awesome!  Keep up the great work!!


Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Holla:  What a night, it was chilly but the rain was awesome!

Hoot:  I know Holla we really need the rain here.

Holla:  I’m so excited Hoot the kids are here today from Davila Day Deaf School!  They are making Valentine “Owl” Boxes.  They all have a picture of us on their boxes and are learning all about Barn Owls with Ms. Smarty-Plants.

Hoot:  I saw them in the Veggie Garden while I was picking (hunting) up your lunch.  It looked like they were getting ready for lunch too, picking green stuff out of the ground.

Holla:  Hoot that was lettuce, greens and cilantro they planted a few months ago.  Now it’s ready to eat.  Didn’t they do a great job?

Hoot:  Yes I’m proud of them!

Holla:  Ms. Smarty-Plants says this is means “I Love You” in American Sign Language

Hoot:  I like that!


Saturday, February 24, 2018

Holla:  Well it warmed up a bit today Hoot.  But you know what I think I’m laying another egg!

Hoot:  We are up to four eggs now…I need a second job!


Friday, February 23, 2018

Holla:  Brrr it was a little chilly this morning, thanks for bringing me breakfast in bed Hoot!  I’m glad you are cuddling with me Hoot and helping me keep the kids warm. (3 eggs now)

Hoot:  I know Holla.  Wasn’t it fun seeing Mr. Craven and Ms. Keuse’s  students from Lincoln Acres today?

Holla:  I love it when we have Earth Heroes in The Garden!


Tuesday,  February 20, 2018

Holla:  Wow what a busy day… I laid another egg!!  Thanks Hoot for my snack afterwards (a nice rodent).  Time for a snooze, I’m a little tired I, really hope Hoot is making dinner tonight too!


SD Festival of Science and Engineering!



Show Time: 11:45am at the Park Stage

When: Satruday, March 3, 2018

Where: Petco Park 100 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101

Where to find Ms. Smarty-Plants™: at the Park Stage

Cost: FREE


Come see Ms. Smarty-Plants Cools the Climate on the main Park Stage! How is the climate changing? In this fun, and fact-filled show, Ms. Smarty-Plants looks at local solutions for global challenges to help conserve water and our planet’s resources. Geared towards 2nd – 6th Grade, and great for all ages.

For more information on the festival go to www.lovestemsd.org.





SD Festival of Science & Engineering Field Trip

Time: Tuesday, March 6th

When: 9:30am-11:30am

Where: The Water Conservation Garden

Grade Level: K-6th

Cost: FREE (registration required)

Ms. Smarty-Plants™ is proud to be partnering once again with the SD Festival of Science and Engineering, to save our most precious resource, water! Take a fun and interactive field trip with magic and music through the water cycle, conservation, plant adaptations and much more. Tour the garden and take home your own water-smart plant! Learn, laugh & lend a hand to the planet by taking the Ms. Smarty-Plants™ Earth Hero Pledge, and remember “We can change the world with our own two hands!”.  

Register HERE!!!

If you have any questions please contact the Education Department 619-660-0614 ext 16 or [email protected]



Children’s Water Education Festival at UC Irvine

Time: 8:30am-2:30pm

When: March 28th-29th, 2018

Where: UC Irvine Campus

Cost: registration required


UC Irvine here we come! We are so excited to be participating in this festival once again. Same great water-saving message, plus a new program Ms. Smarty-Plants Cool the Climate. 

Register here!!!