Sarah, beloved Forest Park owl, has died

Sep 7, 2015

Updated 5:20 p.m., Sept. 7 with news about Sarah’s passing

Amateur naturalist Mark Glenshaw on Monday reported that Sarah, a beloved Great Horned Owl in Forest Park, has died.

Glenshaw had followed the pair of mated Great Horned Owls for nearly 10 years.

“I have not seen or heard her for seven weeks and when I last saw her she looked ill or injured,” Glenshaw wrote on his blog. “Sarah's death makes me reflect on many aspects of her. I do not know if I will ever see a female Great Horned Owl as amazing, in all respects, as her,” Glenshaw wrote.

Glenshaw wrote that Sarah could have died naturally of old age though the cause is unknown.

Glenshaw has twice before been a guest on “St. Louis on the Air.”

Original story published 4/16/2015

Millions of people visit St. Louis’ Forest Park every year. But the park is home to two very special owls that naturalist Mark Glenshaw has named Charles and Sarah.

“There’s connecting with nature in general and then connecting with these great horned owls,” Mark Glenshaw told “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh on Thursday. “They are beautiful animals. I often refer to Charles and Sarah as the Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt of birds,” Glenshaw said.

Glenshaw is an award-winning amateur naturalist who has observed the mated pair of owls in Forest Park for nearly 10 years. And the fascination Glenshaw has with the owls is much more than an aesthetic interest.

“There’s very compelling scientific fascination with these animals, the most widespread, commonly found owl in North America, and we know a lot about them but there’s a lot we do not know,” Glenshaw said.

Glenshaw leads “owl prowls” – 20 already this year – for those interested in catching a glimpse of Charles and Sarah. He documents the journeys on his blog and encourages people to email him at mglenshaw@gmail.com to set up a time so that they can join him on an owl prowl.

The latest news from Charles and Sarah is the birth and fledging of two owlets, now 10-12 weeks old. It marks the 22nd and 23rd owlets that Glenshaw has observed.

Names of the owlets are forthcoming.

Glenshaw was also a guest on "St. Louis on the Air" in December 2013.

St. Louis on the Air discusses issues and concerns facing the St. Louis area. The show is produced by Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer and hosted by veteran journalist Don Marsh. Follow us on Twitter: @STLonAir.