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Owls. Yes, owls.





quex
One of my many (too many) hobbies is keeping an eye out for birds. Not birdwatching, per se; I don't actually go on walks through the forest with binocs and a field guide, but we've got a feeder out back for the little ones, and a lovely deep ravine where all sorts of things show up to hunt.

So here's my thing; we've got an owl now, and I can't for the life of me figure out what it is. He (she?) is a big ol' bastard, hoots very loudly around midnight for a steady five minutes, and apparently is stalking the bird feeder. He's beautiful, though. Haven't been able to get a decent shot of him, but I've got the camera sitting on the windowsill, just in case.

I ran all around the internet last night looking for similar birds, and I found some really nice shots. There's something expressive about the eyes on an owl; they really, seriously look human. Maybe it's the wide iris, maybe it's the shape of the face. I don't know. Anyway:









WTF?! XD

I think I'm falling in love with them. ;_; Please share owl picture with me~! >w<
jwellsy
Owls are way cool. I can do a pretty good owl call by cupping my hands together and blowing between my parrallel thumbs.

My owl call will make a turkey gobble so it can be located. In the midle of the night it can make a lake full of loons go crazy trying to protect their young.

But, the neatest thing is to use it to call in owls to come up to us. Sometimes they will come up and land in a tree right above us. In the middle of the night that can scare the heck out of you.
quex
I didn't know there was a working owl call! o.o That's something I'll need to learn. (I can only do ducks and sashiba hawks.) But why would the turkey gobble? That just gives away his position to the owl/person who sounds like a owl. >,o Dumb turkeys.

Can you record a clip of your call and post it here? Please? :D
deanhills
Found the enclosed Website for Barn Owls. Perhaps you can look through it. It also has a section on the type of calls made, so if you keep on searching, maybe you will eventually find the one you have?

http://www.owlpages.com/owls.php?genus=Tyto&species=alba

Perhaps one of these:

http://www.owlpages.com/owls.php?location=Asia
ocalhoun
For identification, the best thing you could do is find a resource with pictures (and perhaps audio recordings if possible) of all the owls commonly found in your area... If you've gotten a good look at it and can remember it well enough, you should be able to recognize it in that source.
Check either Google or the local library. Also, if you know any hard-core bird watchers, ask them about it.
quex
Haha, thanks folks. ^_^ I wasn't asking for help with identification; I've got that covered. (Nice resources, though; thanks!) I was just expressing my new-found adoration of owls and hoping to connect with any other frihosters who felt the same... I guess I have a thing about reaching out to others on this forum for reassurance that it's okay to love birds.

That said, I could swear to god that this is our bird, but the range is completely wrong. Second closest match looks to be this guy, but if that's the case, our particular individual is an oversized specimen. o.o;
bonestorm74
Owls rock, no question. Some nice pics there, thanks for posting!
andysart380
owls are socool, i wish ive seen one close up i want to get some photos of them. those ones there you found are nice.
ocalhoun
quex wrote:

That said, I could swear to god that this is our bird, but the range is completely wrong.

Well, its not unheard of to find a bird far, far out of its normal habitat. Once, after hurricane Katrina, a rare, pink pelican was found on the Mississippi coast. Normally they are only found in Africa!
The theory is that it rode the storm all the way across the Atlantic.
quex
Andy, bonestorm, jwellsy; let's start a club! XD

ocalhoun wrote:

Well, its not unheard of to find a bird far, far out of its normal habitat. Once, after hurricane Katrina, a rare, pink pelican was found on the Mississippi coast. Normally they are only found in Africa!
The theory is that it rode the storm all the way across the Atlantic.


True! However, the "far from home" cases are almost always water birds, and therein, mostly seabirds. Owls are not generally prolific fliers, so one doubts their ability to stay aloft long enough to be range-thrown.

I haven't seen birdy for a few days. ;_;

...but I have had a dandy time finding pictures. For example this thing:



...which I completely, utterly could not believe was real until Wikipedia and the noosphere set me right. Frogmouths, folks.





It just... doesn't... look... real. O.o;;; It's like a caricature come to life.


White: DOOD!
Brown: WTF?!

Meh.

XD
carlospro7
Yeah, there is something about an owl's face that gives some sort of feeling. I don't know what, but it is so strange.
deanhills
Wow, that looks like a real sad owl. Never seen one like that before! Good sighting! Smile
dude_xyx
The one looks soo funny. The guy seems to be bored. Nice photo.


.
SBCBC33
Owls are so odd looking. Especially those frog-mouthed hooters. Cute...albeit in a very bizarre sort of way... Shocked
tchaunt
I've always loved owls. I don't know why either. I had never seen one in real life up until about two or three years ago. I'm wanting to say it was some type of pygmy owl. I think it may have been the northern pygmy owl (Glaucidium gnoma), but like I said, I'm not sure. All I know is that I sat for hours on end watching that poor little bird.
And for some reason, the second year I had lived at my house, the oddest thing happened. My sister and I had just arrived home from school, and we were walking to the door. I dropped something and had to go back and get it. Well, what looked like a fairly large Snowy Owl just swooped over the field beside my house. I'm still not sure what it was, because rarely ever are snowy owls found this far south.
jwellsy
Are there any owl house plans out there? They make species specific bird houses. But, I don't recall ever seeing them designed for owls. Different types of birds need different sized holes and perches.
quex
jwellsy wrote:
Are there any owl house plans out there? They make species specific bird houses. But, I don't recall ever seeing them designed for owls. Different types of birds need different sized holes and perches.


Behold, the awesome powers of the internet. :D

You can buy or make and owl box for about every specie in the USA. Plenty more links out there, too.
quex
tchaunt wrote:
I've always loved owls. I don't know why either. I had never seen one in real life up until about two or three years ago. I'm wanting to say it was some type of pygmy owl. I think it may have been the northern pygmy owl (Glaucidium gnoma), but like I said, I'm not sure. All I know is that I sat for hours on end watching that poor little bird.
And for some reason, the second year I had lived at my house, the oddest thing happened. My sister and I had just arrived home from school, and we were walking to the door. I dropped something and had to go back and get it. Well, what looked like a fairly large Snowy Owl just swooped over the field beside my house. I'm still not sure what it was, because rarely ever are snowy owls found this far south.


Ahhh, pygmies!





The pygmy owls really are some of the cutest ones out there... my personal favorite is the Little Owl, though, because it's very personable. This one is a pet/rehabilitated find in Japan:





Wonder what that snowy might have been. o.o
andysart380
my boss told me today he has seen some owls around the farm... ive got my camera with me every day so i hope to get some good shots of one...and i have seen an eagle out there...got some good birds at the farm i hope i catch some shots for you.
quex
That would be great! I wish you the best of luck, and may no owl decide to go after you. ^^
Dean_The_Great
There is a great bird observatory in Long Point, Ontario Canada that is reputed as one of the best in North America (actually it is North America's oldest!) and every fall they capture and band owls. I've never been there at that time of year, but it would be awesome!
Arty
What do owls eat? Do you have to feed them mice or do they have another kind of diet that does not involve live food?
quex
Owls can eat a ton of stuff, but practically all of it is live food. Everything from moths to snakes to rabbits to other owls or smaller birds of prey... Mice are the bigger part of most owls' diets, though.

Why do you ask?
deanhills
Quex, you have posted some beautiful photos of the owl. I love birds, and owls to me are very special, also rare to catch a sight of them. I wonder if people realize how unique and almost impossible it is to get photos of this quality. And how patient the photographer has to be when he takes these photos. Photographers usually lurk around in a hide-out for virtually days and days, and then have to take a number of shots to get the perfect photo. It represents real hard work.
traxion
very nice photo's indeed

i've was looking on the frihost forum for some birds.. and here they are:D

how sweet can it get? Very Happy
quex
deanhills wrote:
I wonder if people realize how unique and almost impossible it is to get photos of this quality. And how patient the photographer has to be when he takes these photos. Photographers usually lurk around in a hide-out for virtually days and days, and then have to take a number of shots to get the perfect photo. It represents real hard work.


Amen to that. I feel a little guilty hot-linking to some of these images, especially if they are from a professional photographer's gallery, but they're really mind-blowing. Let me post a few of the places I got them from, for credit's sake:

The House Where Owls Are

Momo Log

U.K. Falconry Centre

John & Fish (AMAZING bird shots from Taiwan and elsewhere. All of these are gorgeous.)

Lars Van de Goor

There are others, but these are all lovely. :D[/url]
deanhills
Please don't feel guilty quex. I really enjoyed the photos, and wish you could show more of them. They are fantastic photos. Smile
soljarag
whoa, those are some cool pictures... i'd be nervious to hold one though
quex
deanhills wrote:
Please don't feel guilty quex. I really enjoyed the photos, and wish you could show more of them. They are fantastic photos. :)


Thank you kindly, Dean. Owl Club, anyone? :D

I'm compelled to link to one more treasure... In Japan, in the vicinity of Mt. Fuji, there is a botanical garden/raptor education center called Fuji Flower and Bird Park, where a ton of these pictures were taken. They have all kinds of large birds, but the owl show is the most popular with guests. The lineup:



From left to right, top row: Jiro, Popo-chan, Juusan; Bottom row: Ken-chan, Yamato, Kurumi-chan.

There are others, too. :D Ma-chan, for example.



...and lovely hawks and eagles.

All of theme were either injury/orphan rescues, taken from unfit owners who had them as pets, or bred for falconry. As such, they are closely bonded to their handlers and have no problem with people. For example, for 200 yen (about $1.75 USD) you can get a picture of one perching on your seven-year-old:



I love the owl's attitude: it's like "Very well, I shall deign to pose for your photograph, this time. Harumph.


...actually, this owl has a fan following, and rightly so. His name is Jiro, and he's so deeply imprinted on his handlers and the fellow who raised him that he will follow them by walking along the ground.




He's a very good walker, isn't he? (I mean, when was the last time you saw a large predatory bird walking anywhere?)

A white owl doing the same thing.

From what I can read on these sites, Jiro follows a curious pattern that breeders and rehabilitators (in Japan, at least) have noticed with many breeds of owls, when rescued young. As they grow older, both males and females seem to consider their human companion to be their dedicated mate. They keep extremely close contact and even make specialized male/female vocalizations to their humans, of the kind researchers observe between paired owls.

Another one of the Fuji park's famous birds, Popo-Chan, has a transformation act that has gotten her onto variety shows more than once. The gist of the Japanese narration is that when her breed (White-faced Scops Owl) is presented with a bird that it recognizes as less-powerful, it puts on a display to make itself look huge. When it meets a tougher, bigger bird, however... it gets skinny and orients itself towards the threat to look like a branch. (Looks VERY funny.)

A travel blog's photo journal entry of a trip to the park, including some very awesome images of owls at full speed, owls on children, etc.

And lastly... a gallery of images from the hatching and rearing of a clutch of barn owl eggs, with the help of some parrots.


D'awww. :D
erlendhg
Oh, those owls are so cute.

I also fealt that I had to contribute with the classic O RLY owl:
deanhills
quex wrote:

D'awww. Very Happy

This was a cute one ... is this for real, parrots looking after baby owl hatching?

Regretfully the above photo was the only one I could see, the other photos came up with crosses.
Dean_The_Great
I have real difficulty looking at that baby photo in the guys hand. It reminds me too much of something out of The Dark Crystal!
blacktshirtnews
yea man owl's is where its at
Solon_Poledourus
When I was a kid, we went camping in the Kofa Game Range in Arizona. My brother, father and I were out hiking one morning and came upon a mine shaft that went straight down into the ground. It had a short broken down wooden fence around it, and we got pretty close to see if we could tell how deep it was. We tossed a few small rocks in to see if we could hear them hit bottom, and as I was leaning closer to listen, this giant owl came flying out of the shaft. It scared the crap out of me. The thing was huge.
I've always loved owls, but they can sneak up on you. Silent and spooky.
And the picture of that baby owl in the beginning of the thread just makes me giggle.
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