I work at Rice University where the owl is the official mascot. There are owl flags, an owl mobile, a giant owl statue, owl facades, etc. Right outside the door to the building where I work is a real live owl in a tree! This is the first owl that I have ever seen in its natural habitat. I stood under the tree to get this photo. I woke the poor owl up.
Other people have told me that they have seen owls on campus. One professor who was working late and walking to her car got knocked over by a flying owl.
I went to a talk given by a retired professor who photographed a nest with 3 baby owls and their parents. He followed their progress on campus. Then the mother owl disappeared. He said that a major danger to our native owls is rat poison. The owls will catch and eat a poisoned rat that has not yet died. The owl then dies from the poison in the rat. The owls are safe on the Rice campus but just across Main Street is the Medical Center.
Working at Rice is kind of like working in a park. The squirrels are so tame that they just stop and beg for food as you walk by. Once I thought a squirrel was dead but it turned out that it was just sprawled out on the sidewalk napping. I've seen bunnies jumping through the hedges in the morning and evening hours.
I am so happy that the cooler weather is only a month or so away. It's just too hot to be outside now. I look forward to walking to the student center for lunch and admiring the beauty of the campus.