Linford and Christie are adorable:
So do I! I collect owl ornaments. Beautiful birds, but very spooky. Have you ever stared back at one for a wee while? I did once and got shivers down my spine.
Edit: Sorry - just realised I had not answered your question - Yes, I have stared back at an owl - a male Snowy, and you are quite right - it does give you the shivers !
Last edited by Nimuae; 23-03-12 at 03:49 PM.
With all birds of prey, the sharp beak looks fierce and threatening to some people. But that's actually a very delicate instrument that they use to slice up the meat after the kill. It's the talons that actually make the kill. In the case of the Peregrine it dives in on its prey (pigeons are favourite but other fast flying birds like ducks as well) at up to 200 mph and then, as it's about to hit the prey, the Peregrine swings those talons forwards so that they are what actually hits the target. That usually kills it outright and the Peregrine grabs it out of the sky and makes off with it. If they prey isn't killed by being hit at that speed it is usually knocked out and the Peregrine can follow it to the ground.
But like all raptors, they don't do much for most of the day, they only need to hunt & eat occasionally. That's why I liked working in the Falconry Centres while I was doing the training courses there. They had quite a few Peregrines and other falcons so we could take one out and work it to the lure for a while. Then when that one was exercised and fed for the day we would take that one back and take out another one so that we were working with them throughout the day. They don't make good pets, you really have to know what you're doing to look after one.
For the rest of the day the Peregrines would just sit on their perches, beautiful, proud and haughty. They're the best birds in the world - and they know it
I've done a few falconry courses and most falconry centre keep owls as well. The best one is the European Eagle Owl. It's one of the largest owls in the world. When you've got that on your wrist you know about it. It's 58–75 cm (23–30 in) and weighs 1.75–4.2 kg (3.9–9.3 lb) [as with all birds of prey, the females are bigger & heavier]. Because it's so heavy people tend to rest their forearm on their hip - but then the owl can nip you nose and ear! But they're still lovely
When we flew the owls, just to a simple lure, across the arena, it's amazing to witness their silent flight. Compared to all other birds, which make some noise on take off and landing as as they flap their wings, the owls really are totally silent
I like owls they're always up for a laugh and a joke.
Looks like somebody's told them an 'owler.............
Animals with forward-pointing eyes are often perceived as very cute to us humans I think. Something to do with instinctive anthropormorphism I suppose.
I used to hear screech owls back east in Connecticut - they can be quite noisy - I am reminded of that funny scene in "My Cousin Vinny" where the owl wakes up Vinny and he grabs the gun and starts shooting but misses it.