Owls are rad.
March 28, 2006 6:27 AM   Subscribe

Owls are rad. Sometimes they look kind of metallic and scary, sometimes wise, sometimes puzzled, and sometimes like skulls, (Index); sometimes they sound like dogs or pigs, sometimes they sound like a little train, sometimes they sound alarmed, (Index of MP3s); sometimes you come across an extensive gallery of Central and North American owls with pictures, ranges, video, and even a description of the '04-'05 Northern Owl Invasion; sometimes it's a dynamic range map of Owls of the Western Hemisphere; sometimes it's the OwlCam homepage with downloadable owl movies, sometimes it's a series of articles on all things owl; sometimes at BiologyBase it's a printable owl sighting lifelist, sometimes it's Ruru, the morepork, New Zealand's native owl at NZBirds. Or, w0t! w0t!, it's attracting barn owls and building nest boxes at World Owl Trust. Previous MeFi birding FPP.
posted by OmieWise (33 comments total)
This picture of a Tawny Owl swallowing a mouse is pretty cool!
posted by OmieWise at 6:28 AM on March 28, 2006

Wow that's a lot of links.
Am I the only one who has that kind of reaction to posts like this? haha...
posted by ryran at 6:31 AM on March 28, 2006

This post is a hoot! Great job, OmieWise.
posted by psmealey at 6:32 AM on March 28, 2006

Owls are assholes.

Very nice post.
posted by Cookiebastard at 6:36 AM on March 28, 2006

posted by delmoi at 6:38 AM on March 28, 2006

Well, someone was going to do it.
posted by delmoi at 6:38 AM on March 28, 2006

A sentiment straight from my heart, but it turned out like a crappy birthday card. Still:

posted by soundofsuburbia at 6:41 AM on March 28, 2006

I came across two Eastern Screech Owls in Brookline, MA just last week. I've never seen owl's outside of zoos before so it was a bit of an experience. We walked by their tree just in time to see one swooping in with a tasty mouse treat for the other.
posted by Constant Reader at 6:47 AM on March 28, 2006

*resists urge to make terrible puns*

Awesome post, thank you.
posted by Drexen at 6:51 AM on March 28, 2006

I came across one of these while camping in on the Columbia River in Oregon. It was freaking huge. Totally scared the crap out of me.
posted by psmealey at 6:54 AM on March 28, 2006

I never realised how terrifying owls are.


Yes, RLY.
posted by fire&wings at 7:02 AM on March 28, 2006

owls are cool, but I like turtles!

posted by mcsweetie at 7:03 AM on March 28, 2006

This post is awesome. I love owls. I've never seen one in person.
posted by apis mellifera at 7:04 AM on March 28, 2006

posted by schoolgirl report at 7:19 AM on March 28, 2006

I hate owls.
posted by bradth27 at 7:37 AM on March 28, 2006

Owls love me.
posted by Pallas Athena at 7:46 AM on March 28, 2006 [2 favorites]

A large snowy owl perced on top of a neighbour's house one day during my childhood. People came from all over town to look at it. Cars up and down the block for hours. Then it flew away and life returned to normal. True story.
posted by GuyZero at 7:48 AM on March 28, 2006

I drove from Minneapolis by myself to St. Louis county, north of Duluth, to catch the Owl Irruption of '04-'05. I got caught in an ice storm on a deserted county highway along the border of the owl hotspot, the Sax-Zim Bog. My car slid off the road and into a ditch, and I had no cell service where I was. I stood in the ice storm for 2 hours until a guy with only half of his teeth came along in his rusted out pickup. He asked me what I was doing out in the middle of nowhere but I couldn't pay attention to him because a Great Gray Owl had just landed on the telephone line right above us. He figured out why I was distracted and disgustedly shook his head. Then he hooked a chain on to my car and pulled me out.

I'm not making any of that up. I saw 16 Great Grays that day (but alas, no Hawk Owls) and the trip, including the ditch adventure, was totally worth it.
posted by mcstayinskool at 8:04 AM on March 28, 2006

Nice post. Of course, when I saw the words, "metallic and scary," I thought I was going to be seeing Bubo.

Anyway, I love owls. I see a lot of barred owls when I'm out on my nature trails; usually, they're pissed as hell that I startled them out of their afternoon snooze, and will flap harassedly over to a nearby tree, whereupon I'll stand there in the middle of the woods like a goon, holding up my camera going, "Hoo! Hoo!" in an effort to get them to look at me. They tend to be uncooperative, though. One time a couple of Sundays ago, I was walking along a creek and there was a sleepy one perched on a branch right over my head, and he didn't even seem to be afraid of me. I watched him shift around and fluff himself for a while, and then all of a sudden he decided to swoop down to the creek to catch and eat a little crab that just happened to be passing by. Man, I love living in Florida, if for no other reason than the critters.
posted by Gator at 8:21 AM on March 28, 2006

Gator, I thought so too, hence my contribution. Though Bubo wasn't really scary. More creepy, yet friendly.
posted by schoolgirl report at 8:24 AM on March 28, 2006

I wish the work restrictions on image search weren't so random. I have a desperate urge to locate a picture of Bubo, the clockwork Harryhausen owl from Clash Of The Titans. If only a horde of MeFites could help a fellow out here.

/bonus points will be given for hilariously adding "NO WAI!!!!" to the bottom of any image...
posted by longbaugh at 8:26 AM on March 28, 2006

Ah crap, my link died.
posted by schoolgirl report at 8:40 AM on March 28, 2006

longbaugh: Just for you.
posted by Zozo at 8:40 AM on March 28, 2006

And now, Zozo, for the Grand Prize: Animate the eyes so they spin like in the movie! C'mon, do it!

Yeah, schoolgirl report, all I saw was a broken image in your comment, didn't know it was Buboesque.
posted by Gator at 8:54 AM on March 28, 2006

Zozo - I fuckin' love you.
posted by longbaugh at 8:55 AM on March 28, 2006

You forgot to mention that they make almost no noise while flying. (unlike a normal birds flapping noise.)

That's what makes them so spooky when one flies by you in the woods.
posted by HTuttle at 9:51 AM on March 28, 2006

Owls.... great birds!

As a kid my sister (who still lived at home) was a biology teacher... she was also the "go to" person in town for injured animals..we ended up with almost everything..

One of my favorites was a Great Horned Owl that someone brought as a chick.. It grew up in a bit box in the living room... eventually getting big enough to hop up on the edge of the box where it would sit and watch TV with us. A wonderful, gentle bird.

thanks for the FPP....
posted by HuronBob at 9:55 AM on March 28, 2006

There's a fun bar in SF called the Owl Tree. The decor is pretty owl-tastic, all told. The drinks aren't bad either.
posted by CommaTheWaterseller at 11:12 AM on March 28, 2006

Thanks for this post. It got me thinking of the Psygnosis Owl:

Which led to a web search, which led to this page:
which led to me now sitting here listening to a medley of all the themes from Lemmings.

I love the internet.
posted by bitmage at 11:17 AM on March 28, 2006

A wise old owl sat on an oak
The more he saw, the less he spoke
The less he spoke, the more he heard
He truly was a wise old bird

posted by zoinks at 11:26 AM on March 28, 2006

Truly a great post! I loved all the information and photos, especially. I have not yet had the pleasure of seeing an owl in person in the wild yet, though I go birding often. I keep looking!
posted by annieb at 3:10 PM on March 28, 2006

the owls are not what they seem
posted by mr.marx at 2:58 AM on March 29, 2006

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