Thursday, 10 July 2008

Nimue, Puck and Navajo

As I mentioned in the previous post on falconry we had organised two separate sessions while staying at Dalhousie Castle. The second session was all about owls.

We had already flown Bandit the day before and now we got to fly three more owls. The first of which was Nimue, a Mexican Striped Owl.

Nimue was great fun to fly. Not only did he come to the glove without too much coaxing but he was also quite chatty and entertaining. Although as you can tell from the middle picture he clearly likes his food (bits of day old cockerel chicks).

The second owl was Puck, a Little Owl. Now I've seen Little Owls before but only from quite a distance, never this close.

Unfortunately Puck didn't like me at all. He would fly to Bryony's glove without any problems but he wouldn't fly to mine. And he wouldn't even sit on my hand when placed there, he just shrieked loudly and flew off. He was quite happy to let me stroke him when he was one someone else's glove though so I don't really know what the problem was. Anyway, I thought it worth mentioning the strange feather patterning on the back of a Little Owls head. Basically he has the same pattern on the back of his head as he does on the front (the white V like pattern above the eyes) so that from a distance predators can't tell if they are looking at the front or back of his head -- he literally appears to have "eyes in the back of his head". It wasn't so obvious when looking at him close to, but when looking through the view finder of the camera I couldn't work out which way he was facing.

The final owl we got to fly was a Great Grey Owl called Navajo.

Navajo was by far the biggest bird we flew on either day, both in terms of size and weight. While most of him is just feathers he is still a very heavy bird. He also likes his food -- in fact the only way to entice him to fly to the glove was with whole chicks instead of just little bits!

Post a Comment