Monday, May 23, 2011

Of Baby Owls

 Of Scops Owls, I think, to be precise. Something of the genus Otus, possibly Otus scops.

We have spent the wekend in the country.

Two tiny white things with wings, no more than a day or two old, an inch or so long, in a clay wine jug embedded in the wall of a parterre. Four mice, bigger than the chicks, which they were clearly incapable of eating.

My sister-in-law was afraid to work past the jug, even though the birds were the size of her thumbn and well hidden.

The mother spent much of the evening sitting on the roof, waiting her chance to join the chicks, and staring intently at anyone who got in the way. The photograph is not perfectly clear- she was good at getting the sun over her shoulder- but I can tell you that when you have been stared at in a certain way by a Scops owl- all ten imches off it- you are never quite the same again.

She will be glad we have left, and I feel a certain relief myself, on her behalf.

No comments: