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o rly?
November 26, 2010 1:00 PM   Subscribe

Cute Owl Hunts Invisible Prey
posted by cjorgensen (89 comments total) 44 users marked this as a favorite

 
Cute, yes, but never forget that those things are basically level-boss evil in the animal kingdom. Cold blooded, mechanical murder from above. This Thanksgiving I am thankful to weigh more than an owl can carry.
posted by SkinnerSan at 1:10 PM on November 26, 2010 [24 favorites]


O RLY?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:11 PM on November 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh, hi there, I'm Marisa. I don't read thread titles.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:11 PM on November 26, 2010 [40 favorites]


Don't forget silent, SkinnerSan. We saw a couple of demonstrations of an Eagle Owl at the arboretum in Flagstaff this summer. The things are eerily silent in the air. Prey doesn't stand a chance.
posted by Thistledown at 1:12 PM on November 26, 2010


yeah yeah its all cute and fwuffy (it really is) but lets not forget here folks, these creatures are the descendants of dinosaurs!!! they would kill and eat your ass if they could!
posted by supermedusa at 1:12 PM on November 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


And regurgitate you in a neat little pellet.
posted by pracowity at 1:15 PM on November 26, 2010


Those are the least worst comments I've ever seen on YouTube.
posted by Mister_A at 1:20 PM on November 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


I have to admit, at 0:13, when he suddenly looks right at the camera, I sort of felt apprehensive there. Must be an even scarier sight if you're a field mouse.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:20 PM on November 26, 2010 [6 favorites]


Level-boss feathery dinosaurs? I'm still not seeing a downside. That's an owl that needs some hugging.
posted by quin at 1:21 PM on November 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


Remember, birds of prey evolved from velociraptors. Owls are velociratpors that can fly. Stay safe.
posted by bonehead at 1:22 PM on November 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


"Cold blooded, mechanical murder from above."

There's a little Saw-Whet that like to perch on my air conditioner in the summer and leave decapitated mouse corpses around the yard.
posted by Tenuki at 1:23 PM on November 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


quin there's a large downside. Google
owl tangle matted gore
for more information.
posted by Mister_A at 1:24 PM on November 26, 2010


I had a large horned owl fly right past my head a few weeks ago. Scared the crap out of me, because it was so big and so creepily silent.
posted by Forktine at 1:27 PM on November 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


Cute Owl Hunts Invisible To You Prey.
posted by The Whelk at 1:31 PM on November 26, 2010 [12 favorites]


Death from above.

On the other hand, they can be placated with humanity's secret weapon:
skritchies.
posted by bitmage at 1:33 PM on November 26, 2010 [48 favorites]


I have to admit, at 0:13, when he suddenly looks right at the camera

Yeah, the video is adorable but when I realized he wasn't immediately going back to practicing, I started to wonder if this is some sort of Ring moment where the owl flies out of my screen and onto my face.
posted by griphus at 1:34 PM on November 26, 2010 [6 favorites]


If you think these animals are cute, just remember that they are every bit as lethal and vicious as a domestic cat. When you know what owls are capable of, then that video is no more funny or cute than this one.
posted by "Elbows" O'Donoghue at 1:34 PM on November 26, 2010 [21 favorites]


Owls are fucking terrifying. I once had a barn owl swoop at me when I was walking home through a forest late at night. Completely silent. Not a sound at all. I noticed some movement out of the corner of my eye, felt a breeze, kept walking. Had a strange feeling like I was being watched, turned around, only to see ten pounds of feathers and razor sharp claws hurtling towards me at 50 miles per hour, along with the creepiest fucking eyes of any animal on earth. My keen instincts and sharp reflexes allowed me to deftly fall face forward into the ground, narrowly avoiding the swooping mass of talons and beak. After sprinting for my life, out into the open by the street, I looked up to see it still circling above me. My years of training had prepared me to launch an all out defensive attack, flailing my arms wildly and screaming and crying like a little girl. Those creepy alien eyes will haunt me for the rest of my days.

Don't fall victim to the owl's cuteness, it's merely a ploy for you to lower your defenses.
posted by inedible at 1:41 PM on November 26, 2010 [30 favorites]


quin there's a large downside.

Oh, I've danced the want to hug the owl dance before. I still say that the general feelings of bleeding-coughing-blood-stitches-eye-patch-three-missing-fingers-and-two-toes might be worth the hug.

I mean, look at that face. That's a bird in need of a squeeze.
posted by quin at 1:43 PM on November 26, 2010 [4 favorites]


I should probably tell you that I work for the Owls and we are watching this thread with a steady unblinking gaze.
posted by The Whelk at 1:46 PM on November 26, 2010 [26 favorites]


Owls.

Never forget, guys. Never forget about the owls.
posted by redsparkler at 1:46 PM on November 26, 2010


For some reason I really want to see the "Death from above" clip with Nic Cage's face over the owl's.
posted by neuromodulator at 1:46 PM on November 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


There are lots of Barn Owls around here. On year three of them camped out in my trees after they fledged. They can sure be loud when a parent approaches with food.
posted by Tenuki at 1:50 PM on November 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


I am a fan of crows. Owls murder crows for no apparent reason while the crows are asleep. Therefore, owls are not cute, but evil.
posted by tommyD at 1:51 PM on November 26, 2010


...steady unblinking gaze
posted by The Whelk at 1:52 PM on November 26, 2010 [4 favorites]


They can sure be loud when a parent approaches with food.

We have some sort of owls in the woods behind my house. When they get going at night, you'd think we had howler monkeys. Not just "who!" but WHOOHOOHAHAHAAAAOOOAOOAOOAOOAAEEE! And then two of them will get a dialog going...
posted by bitmage at 1:55 PM on November 26, 2010


Level-boss feathery dinosaurs?

Owls, it should come as no surprise, are not what they seem.
posted by thusspakeparanoia at 1:57 PM on November 26, 2010 [12 favorites]


That's just your paranoia speaking.
posted by bitmage at 1:59 PM on November 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


WHY THAT OWL IS ALL FROWNING LIKE THAT
posted by everichon at 2:10 PM on November 26, 2010


I'd link to the Saskatchewan Burrowing Owl Interpretive Centre, but I see that they've lost their domain to squatters. Where's silent death from above when you need it?
posted by scruss at 2:11 PM on November 26, 2010


Also: Barn owls are unheimlich.

* frisson *
posted by everichon at 2:12 PM on November 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


My dog does this - she makes up prey and toys and plays with her invisible new friends. I assume other people's dogs do this too. But I always think it remarkable when animals engage in this behaviour - I mean, dude, the owl is using its imagination. I just can't get over how cool that is.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:16 PM on November 26, 2010 [7 favorites]


Owls, it should come as no surprise, are not what they seem.

Specially this one (translation in comments).
posted by clearlydemon at 2:19 PM on November 26, 2010


Owlbots, TRANSFORM.. chee-chuh-chO-CHOOGH-TCHUHH..
posted by hanoixan at 2:21 PM on November 26, 2010 [4 favorites]


I am a fan of crows. Owls murder crows for no apparent reason while the crows are asleep.
Actually, they have a pretty good reason, crows are tasty. Crows return the favor by harassing owls that they find during the day relentlessly.
posted by Lame_username at 2:22 PM on November 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


Oh FFS, clearlydemon clearly beat me to it.
posted by hanoixan at 2:22 PM on November 26, 2010


...steady unblinking gaze

oh god that is actually quite frightening.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 2:23 PM on November 26, 2010


But let's not catch ourselves saying that the owl is using his imagination here, okay? Because that would be soft-headed anthropomorphizing. This owl is just doing random owl shit, because owls are weird. And random.

/preyburger
posted by hermitosis at 2:24 PM on November 26, 2010


Box owl is watching you...
posted by Rhomboid at 2:28 PM on November 26, 2010 [14 favorites]


hermitosis: "But let's not catch ourselves saying that the owl is using his imagination here, okay? Because that would be soft-headed anthropomorphizing. This owl is just doing random owl shit, because owls are weird. And random."

That statement indicates you see imagination as a purely human trait. My dog says you're wrong. I would also point out that dogs dream, so if they can conjour images subconciously I don't understand how we can state absolutely that they cannot do so conciously.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:38 PM on November 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


the owls are not what they seem.
posted by rainperimeter at 2:53 PM on November 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


When that owl looked at the camera it looked at...me.
posted by Gin and Comics at 2:55 PM on November 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


Those creepy alien eyes will haunt me for the rest of my days.

I will admit, Jimmy Wales has a piercing gaze.
posted by JHarris at 3:00 PM on November 26, 2010 [18 favorites]


Awww...whossa cwute widdle dweath machine?
posted by sourwookie at 3:00 PM on November 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


On the other hand, they can be placated with humanity's secret weapon

That's not an owl, that's totally a muppet. I don't know how they made it hop across the branches like that, but come on. It's gotta be related to Sam the Eagle.
posted by vytae at 3:08 PM on November 26, 2010


Cute, yes, but never forget that those things are basically level-boss evil in the animal kingdom. Cold blooded, mechanical murder from above. This Thanksgiving I am thankful to weigh more than an owl can carry.

Simon Cowell? Your days are numbered.

A year or two ago, my dad rescued a little screech owl chick that wasn't fledged. He was so peaceable -- he'd sit in your hand as good as gold, and he'd sleep in my dad's beard if Dad took a nap. Little guy went through a sleeve of crickets every day. They were starting to notice down at the bait shop.

Dad eventually released him exactly where he had been found, at dusk, when he could hear owl calls from directly overhead in the tree. He was so proud; he said it was "like a Disney movie." Every time this comes up, I refrain from pointing out that owls will in fact eat owl chicks, and it may not have been the chick's mother that came for him.
posted by Countess Elena at 3:21 PM on November 26, 2010 [5 favorites]


I'd link to the Saskatchewan Burrowing Owl Interpretive Centre, but I see that they've lost their domain to squatters.

Bastards.
(domain squatters, not Owls).
posted by ovvl at 3:25 PM on November 26, 2010


Countess Elena, I demand photographic evidence of owl chick sleeping in Dad's beard. I'll trade you a video of a teenage dude sleeping with a baby hummingbird on his hand... that you've probably already seen, because it was from here.
posted by thusspakeparanoia at 3:42 PM on November 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sorry, this is about the best I can do. I wasn't there for the beard-sleeping.
posted by Countess Elena at 3:49 PM on November 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


The owls may be a little scary, it's true, but they are our last line of defense against the upcoming cephalopod invasion.

Next time you see an owl, thank it...carefully.
posted by digitalprimate at 3:50 PM on November 26, 2010


Hey Mr. Owl, how many licks does it take to get to the center of my delicious carotid artery?
posted by orme at 3:50 PM on November 26, 2010 [14 favorites]


The perfect thread in which to quote my favorite Mary Oliver poem.

Little Owl Who Lives in the Orchard
His beak could open a bottle,
and his eyes - when he lifts their soft lids -
go on reading something
just beyond your shoulder -
Blake, maybe,
or the Book of Revelation.

Never mind that he eats only
the black-smocked crickets,
and the dragonflies if they happen
to be out late over the ponds, and of course
the occasional festal mouse.
Never mind that he is only a memo
from the offices of fear -

it’s not size but surge that tells us
when we’re in touch with something real,
and when I hear him in the orchard
fluttering
down the little aliminum
ladder of his scream -
when I see his wings open, like two black ferns,

a flurry of palpitations
as cold as sleet
rackets across the marshlands
of my heart
like a wild spring day.

Somewhere in the universe,
in the gallery of important things,
the babyish owl, ruffled and rakish,
sits on its pedestal.
Dear, dark dapple of plush!
A message, reads the label,
from that mysterious conglomerate:
Oblivion and Co.
The hooked head stares
from its house of dark, feathery lace.
It could be a valentine.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 3:52 PM on November 26, 2010 [19 favorites]


Dreaming dog you say, DarlingBri? That's nothing. These dogs invented their own winter-time gravity-sport.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 3:55 PM on November 26, 2010 [9 favorites]


The owls may be a little scary, it's true, but they are our last line of defense against the upcoming cephalopod invasion.

There's a show I'm following right now based precisely on the subject of cephalopod invasion. It actually looks like it'd be a lot of fun, with beach parties, spaghetti, and shrimp galore. If feel quite torn between the owls and the squids now, and don't know who to side with.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:14 PM on November 26, 2010


Owls: just one more thing ruined by that fucking Harry Potter
posted by briank at 4:14 PM on November 26, 2010


There's an owl right behind me. Isn't there.
posted by louche mustachio at 4:18 PM on November 26, 2010 [13 favorites]


If a cat had wings, and could fly, who would win in a fight?
How about if an owl had legs instead of wings?

I need to know these things
posted by Ad hominem at 4:53 PM on November 26, 2010


Nibbler: Disarmingly cute exterior masks ancient killing machine interior; on a mission to preserve existence
Owls: Disarmingly cute exterior masks ancient killing machine interior; on a mission to preserve existence
posted by amethysts at 5:05 PM on November 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow, inedible, I had a close encounter with a one of these when I was a kid, and just like you said it "Completely silent. Not a sound at all.", despite being a massive creature with his wings spread wide open. He swooped right above me and caught his prey just a few meters in front of me so fast I didn't even have time to duck.
posted by dabitch at 5:32 PM on November 26, 2010


At a Hoe's Down in Northern California, everyone was partying and celebrating with fresh corn and vegetables and soups and stews, a really good time. When the kids went to bed, many of started horsing around and running through the orchards just for fun. Just like big kids. It was that kind of party. Great.

Except one of our buddies—a full-grown human man—got totally knocked unconscious by an owl that came from behind and hit him in the head. Knocked him totally out. Friends were near by and grabbed him and dragged him back to the main party. He came to, bloodied but otherwise okay. He said he didn't hear a thing.

Nonetheless, after that tree play was done.

And everyone stayed really close to the bonfire throughout the rest of the night.
posted by Mike Mongo at 5:35 PM on November 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think the owl is hunting the shadow of the door.
posted by adipocere at 5:41 PM on November 26, 2010


There is an old proverb. If you don't know what the owl is hunting, the owl is hunting you.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:00 PM on November 26, 2010 [4 favorites]


The cutest things in nature are practicin' their murder skills.
posted by LucretiusJones at 6:12 PM on November 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


Except one of our buddies—a full-grown human man—got totally knocked unconscious by an owl that came from behind and hit him in the head.

We would like to deliver this message: You're scaring all the fucking mice!
posted by maxwelton at 6:15 PM on November 26, 2010 [7 favorites]


Owls evil? Maybe if you relate to the prey. I relate to balance and I love all predators. The more apex the better. Sharks, owls, and tigers are the coolest things on the planet. You think the aliens are watching sheep and grasses up there? They come for the life and death dance, baby. I wouldn't be suprised if our own irrational urges to kill each other is related to conquering most of our natural predators. Even the microscopic ones
posted by Redhush at 7:29 PM on November 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


Obligatory link to the Transformer Owl.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:28 PM on November 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Blast, it's already been posted. Well, what can I say, I would have chosen otherwise, but I was obligated.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:34 PM on November 26, 2010


Owls look all fluffy and soft and silent, swooping around on their noiseless wings. But let me tell you something: they are REALLY LOUD.

You don't realize this, because most of the time you hear them hooting way off in the distance. In fact, those hoots are REALLY LOUD.

One night a Long-Eared Owl perched in a tree branch right outside my second-story window, approximately ten feet from my sleeping head. I was awakened by a "HOOOO" so loud that my ears rang afterward.

It was more volume than I would ever have believed could be generated by a bird. Much less a bird so invested in the concept of silence.

(When the heart attack subsided, I lay in bed giggling. I mean honestly, who gets woken up by an owl?)

(As long as I have my copy of the Peterson guide out, bitmage if you live in the Western US it sounds like Barred Owls. "Usually eight accented hoots, in two groups of four: hoohoo-hoohoo, hoohoohoohooaw.")

posted by ErikaB at 9:15 PM on November 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Remember, birds of prey evolved from velociraptors. Owls are velociratpors that can fly. Stay safe.

But velociraptors hunt in packs. *Source- Jurassic Park...movie*
posted by hal_c_on at 9:40 PM on November 26, 2010


Owls evil? Maybe if you relate to the prey. I relate to balance and I love all predators. The more apex the better. Sharks, owls, and tigers are the coolest things on the planet. You think the aliens are watching sheep and grasses up there? They come for the life and death dance, baby. I wouldn't be suprised if our own irrational urges to kill each other is related to conquering most of our natural predators. Even the microscopic ones

I wish you all the trichina you can handle.
posted by hal_c_on at 9:41 PM on November 26, 2010


Owls are fucking terrifying. I once had a barn owl swoop at me when I was walking home through a forest late at night. Completely silent. Not a sound at all. I noticed some movement out of the corner of my eye, felt a breeze, kept walking. Had a strange feeling like I was being watched, turned around, only to see ten pounds of feathers and razor sharp claws hurtling towards me at 50 miles per hour, along with the creepiest fucking eyes of any animal on earth. My keen instincts and sharp reflexes allowed me to deftly fall face forward into the ground, narrowly avoiding the swooping mass of talons and beak. After sprinting for my life, out into the open by the street, I looked up to see it still circling above me. My years of training had prepared me to launch an all out defensive attack, flailing my arms wildly and screaming and crying like a little girl. Those creepy alien eyes will haunt me for the rest of my days.

Don't fall victim to the owl's cuteness, it's merely a ploy for you to lower your defenses.
posted by inedible at 1:41 PM on November 26 [13 favorites +] [!]


By the look of your username, you may have been over-reacting, even if you are a fieldmouse.
posted by davejay at 9:54 PM on November 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think owls are amazing, but one night camping two of them kept me awake for an hour while they played some owl-like version of Marco Polo. You know what that sounds like?

Owl 1: Hoo hoo
-20 seconds pass-
Owl 2: Hoo hoo
-20 seconds pass-
Owl 1: Hoo hoo
ad infinitum...FOR FUCKING HOURS AND THEY ARE NOCTURNAL DID YOU KNOW

They may fly silent but I'm betting even the local rodents wanted to crawl out from their hiding places and yell STFU by that point. I sure did.
posted by Salmonberry at 11:20 PM on November 26, 2010


Cute, yes, but never forget that those things are basically level-boss evil in the animal kingdom. Cold blooded, mechanical murder from above. This Thanksgiving I am thankful to weigh more than an owl can carry.

No worries.
posted by sebastienbailard at 12:09 AM on November 27, 2010


There is an old proverb. If you don't know what the owl is hunting, the owl is hunting you.

Too right. There you are, in the middle of a Karri forest, all towering white trunks and undergrowth so thick you can barely move, when you hear the cutest little woof woof, woof woof.

But just as you're heart starts to go all soft and gooey over the pretty little owl that thinks it's a shih tzu, the thing starts to scream like a lunatic being tickled with an axe.

[Ninox connivens - the Barking Owl. The few times I've heard them scream, it's been much more intense than the recording above. At full volume and intensity it sounds like someone being murdered, and is simply terrifying.]
posted by Ahab at 12:56 AM on November 27, 2010


(And then, of course, it swoops down and bites your leg off)
posted by Ahab at 1:12 AM on November 27, 2010


Way to ruin a gag, owlpages.com.

http://www.owlpages.com/sounds/Ninox-connivens-4.mp3

Cut and paste for lunatic tickling.
posted by Ahab at 1:16 AM on November 27, 2010


Creepy. That's the soundtrack horrorfilms are made with.
posted by dabitch at 4:17 AM on November 27, 2010


This has been my favorite MeFi thread in quite a while.
posted by sciurus at 5:20 AM on November 27, 2010


This one is like a live furby
posted by dabitch at 5:46 AM on November 27, 2010


aww c'est chouette ;)
posted by jeffburdges at 6:12 AM on November 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


they are our last line of defense against the upcoming cephalopod invasion

You'd think so, but alas! ALAS.
posted by Sallyfur at 7:12 AM on November 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


these are actually calisthenics for woodland creatures. you people have no sense of exercise at all.
posted by ClassyHands at 12:20 PM on November 27, 2010


I swear, that owl is my cat. So dim.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:32 PM on November 27, 2010


News flash: Owls are Assholes
posted by awenner at 3:22 PM on November 27, 2010


.................
posted by The Owls at 8:39 PM on November 27, 2010 [7 favorites]


This post need some hungover owls.
posted by dabitch at 4:33 AM on November 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


"But let's not catch ourselves saying that the owl is using his imagination here, okay? Because that would be soft-headed anthropomorphizin.g. This owl is just doing random owl shit, because owls are weird. And random."

Not random at all. He's after the movement of the shadow of the cupboard door, and I gotta say, his persistence IS terrifyin'
posted by cookie-k at 2:28 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Davejay: By the look of your username, you may have been over-reacting, even if you are a fieldmouse.

I wasn't worried about it eating me, I was worried about it trying to eat me.
posted by inedible at 5:43 PM on November 28, 2010


I wish you all the trichina you can handle.

Thanks for your kind wishes, but I cook my food, and the only apex predators I've eaten would be more likely to give me mercury rather than trichinosis.
posted by Redhush at 10:42 AM on November 29, 2010


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