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Two great horned owlets fell out of their nests and ended up at the Raptor Center in St. Paul. Unfortunately, both had sustained permanent eye injuries that prevent them from being released back to the wild.

So, these two young owls — both great horned — will live out their lives as Raptor Center ambassadors, helping educate the public about what makes owls special predators, their role in the natural world and why we need to work to protect their habitat.

But they can't go nameless.

That's where you come in.

The center is asking for help naming the two owl youngsters. Offer your suggestions at https://raptor.umn.edu/owlnames. Entries are due by July 12. A list of finalists will be posted on July 15 and you'll have until the 17th to vote on them. The birds will get their names on July 18.

This isn't the first time the Raptor Center has asked to assistance naming resident birds. Bubo, Tufts, Whisper, Twig and Echo all were named by similar contests.

To help you come up with suggestions, here's a bit about each bird. Owl #1 (as it's currently known) is probably a female. She has a sweet disposition and a few unusual orange-tipped feathers. Owl #2 is likely a male. And, despite his missing eye, is very curious.

And, if it helps you, here are some owlish facts:

  1. They're the most common large owl in Minnesota and are known for their large, round yellow eyes, prominent feather tufts on the top of their heads and their distinctive hoots.
  2. In the wild, if they survive their first year, great horned owls can live up to 20 years.
  3. They are top predators and have been called "tigers of the sky," known to prey on mice, rats, rabbits, squirrels, skunks, ducks and small owls, as well as crows.

Right now, the two youngsters are learning to sit comfortably on a handler's glove, and will be trained in things like being comfortable in crowds, going into and out of a travel crate and stepping on and off a scale. The goal is to prepare them to be on display at the Raptor Center and offsite in educational programs.