Monday, March 18, 2013

Ogden’s Beloved Great Horned Owl, Chitters, Left A Lasting Impression


The Ogden Nature Center is mourning the passing of its beloved Great Horned Owl Chitters, who passed away on Thursday, March 14, 2013.  Chitters died at the ripe old age of 37 years.

Chitters didn’t lead the life of your typical wild owl, but a non-traditional life which left a lasting legacy.  During his 33 years at the Ogden Nature Center, Chitters educated an estimated 200,000+ children and adults about Utah's native wildlife. 
There are stories of Chitters escaping in search of love, and later returning to the Nature Center. In another story, when Chitters was about 22 years old, and getting on in years, the staff thought he would be better off retired from public appearances – but when he stopped going out he acted depressed and stopped hooting.  As soon as he was put back to “work,” he perked right up. And there are many, many more personal accounts of his strong and endearing personality.

Chitter’s name came from his hooting sound.  His mew neighbor, Cronk, the irascible raven, learned to imitate Chitter’s hooting, and they were often heard chattering back and forth.

Over time, Chitters became the official mascot of the Ogden Nature Center.  His portrait is used for the Nature Center’s Facebook picture, on temporary tattoos, on large banners on 12th Street and on most printed materials about the Nature Center.

In lieu of the original Wild Wednesday program scheduled for March 27th at the Ogden Nature Center, there will be a memorial service celebrating the life of the beloved Great Horned Owl, Chitters. The public is invited to attend this free service honoring Chitters and his 37-years dedicated to education. The public is invited to bring their pictures, written stories or letters to leave at his mew as we say goodbye to a dear member of the Ogden Nature Center family and the community.

Wednesday March 27, 2013
3:45 pm
Chitters Memorial Service
Ogden Nature Center / Visitor Center
966 W. 12th St., Ogden, Utah

In response to many inquiries, the Ogden Nature Center is establishing a Chitters Memorial Fund, to be used to enhance the mews (enclosures for the birds of prey) at the Ogden Nature Center.  To donate online go to <>  and note “In Memory of Chitters” when donating, or call 801-621-7595 or send  to Ogden Nature Center, c/o Chitters Memorial Fund, 966 W. 12th Street, Ogden, Utah, 84404.

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