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Live Camera Launched to Follow the Journey of Austin’s Beloved Bird, Athena

Follow Athena the owl's path to motherhood with the 24-hour live owl nest cam from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Athena the owl (photo by Bob Boyd)

There’s no doubt that Austin is known for being full of weirdly wonderful well-known community members. From musicians to artists to foodies to influencers, there seems to be a ‘note-worthy’ figure everywhere you go. Each spring, Athena arrives back into town — and has the city’s attention in the claws of her hand (or, should we say talons). 

Austin’s most beloved bird, Athena the great horned owl, has returned for the 14th consecutive year to Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Athena has made quite a name for herself, becoming the most-photographed owl in Texas.

Athena the Owl
Athena’s 2020 owlets after fledging (photo by Bill J. Boyd)

Each year, Athena nests right above the entrance to the Wildflower Center’s Courtyard, soaking up the amazement from each visitor that stops by to see her. Don’t worry, she’s safe in a raised planter that provides her shade and shelter, and in fact feels so safe that she’s unbothered by high volumes of visitors. 

The famous bird draws in crowds by the thousands as fans hope to catch a sight of Athena raising her owlets. This year, the Wildflower Center is partnering with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to launch the very first live owl nest cam. 

Athena the Owl
Athena in an oak tree near her nesting site (photo by Bill J. Boyd)

The live camera will provide an even closer view into Athena’s life as she goes through her journey of incubating to feeding to fledging with the help of her mate. The camera will include infrared technology, allowing nighttime viewing of the mostly nocturnal bird’s behavior. 

Two owlets at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (photo by Bill J. Boyd)

The nest camera can be watched at the link here. To stay up to date with Athena, follow along on the Wildflower Center’s instagram.