Johnny Fredericks, a young boy taking photographs of wildlife near Salt Lake City, Utah, discovers an abandoned baby Great Horned Owl. Johnny takes the animal home against his parents' advice and tries to raise it to maturity. Johnny, who names the owl Harriet, continues to use her as a model for his photographic essays, but Harriet has trouble adapting to life as a household pet. She often gets into mischief and causes damage throughout the house. As a result, she is banished from the house. Johnny realizes he must set the owl free, but he also knows she will die, for Harriet has never had to hunt or care for herself. The boy begins a training program to prepare Harriet for life in the wilderness. He starts with short tethered flights and examples of what should be tasty meals for an owl. Eventually, the day comes when Harriet must be set free. Problems arise when a neighbor suspects Harriet of killing one of his prized racing pigeons, and the man vows to kill the owl if she returns ...
Did You Know?
Filming took place on location at Park City near Salt Lake City, Utah, over an 11-month period. When filming was completed, the owl they used had become so tame that it was kept as a pet by director Frank Zuniga
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