Owl inspires art students

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Ridgefield -- Fifth-grade art students at Union Ridge Elementary drew inspiration from a feathered visitor in October -- a great horned owl named Julio. The owl was accompanied Oct. 25 by Tim Donner, environmental educator with the Audubon Society of Portland. The bird served as model for the Drawing from Observation class at the Ridgefield school, where the young artists were able to craft pieces based on a live model, rather than working from the usual drawing or photograph. Before they drew Julio, students dug through specimen boxes full of owl parts to get a sense of what makes a bird like Julio. Although a female, Audubon Society staff gave the bird its name because they initially thought it was a male based on its size. "My favorite part was when we examined the different parts of the owls," said student Alleigh Thomas in a press release. "It was so interesting to see the skull close-up."