submitted 21 hours ago* (last edited 15 hours ago) by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

So I got this together pretty last minute, but I came up with a bracket to try this out.

Starting tomorrow I'll put up two matches a day so we don't drag over the Christmas holidays.

I'll have one comment with a few photos for each owl, upvote your favorite one.

Score will be recorded as soon as I can get to it the next day, so we'll have about 24 hours for each match giving everyone around the world an opportunity.

If there's a tie, all snag a friend or something, I won't vote.

Hopefully this isn't too dysfunctional!

I'm curious to see how this goes and what your favorites are.

Any matches you look forward to seeing or dread having to choose between?

submitted 1 day ago* (last edited 22 hours ago) by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

Photos by johnson163

I think these owls are very pretty, and I also like the look of their floppy ears compared with the other larger owls. These guys just look like they'd be your chill buddy.

Great variety of poses captured by the photographer. Let me know your favorite look.

Collared Scops Owl (lemmy.world)
submitted 2 days ago* (last edited 2 days ago) by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

Photos by johnson163

Found from India to Malaysia, this is the largest of the Scops Owls at a lengthy 9.50 in / 25cm.

submitted 1 day ago* (last edited 1 day ago) by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

There aren't too many owl podcasts I've come across, so I'll share this. I haven't listened to this I've yet, but I've heard others with this author. Her book has been very popular with the greater owl community this year, I see plugs for it everywhere.

Every winter in Connecticut, the snowy owls will pass through our state and can sometimes be spotted at the Connecticut shoreline. But they are just one of many owl species to look out for where we live.

Some cultures see owls as deeply spiritual creatures and as symbols of wisdom. Others see them as bad omens and as signs of impending doom. And that’s definitely impacting their populations.

Today, Author Jennifer Ackerman joins us to talk about her new book What the Owl Knows: The new science of the world’s most enigmatic birds and we explore the world of these incredible birds.

Show page with multiple podcast service links at bottom

Dive Bomber (lemmy.world)
submitted 2 days ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

Photo by Full Moon Images

This Short Eared Owl had gotten itself a bit inverted. Hopefully about to get a tasty treat.

Spotted Owlet (lemmy.world)
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Photos by Sure Milks

I felt we were due for an Athena genus owl, and you all know the Little Owl and the Burrowing Owl by now, so today we have the Spotted Owlet. This little puff lives in India through Southeast Asia.

From the photographer about the photos:

A small uncrested owl with a round head and a short tail. It is grayish-brown overall with white spots above while its underparts are white with brown bars. Note the distinctive white eyebrows and neck-band. Often active at dawn and dusk when it utters a loud “chirurr-chirurr-chirurr” laugh in addition to a variety of high-pitched squeals and whistles. Inhabits all kinds of open habitats but avoids dense forest and wetter regions.

Ranthambhore National Park, Rajasthan, India. February 2015.

From doing a little reading, they seem to have a peculiar wake/sleep cycle. They seem to have a gland many vertebrates have, but was thought to be absent in owls, the pineal gland, which regulates melatonin. It is named the pineal gland because it looks like a pinecone.

Snippet from Wikipedia:

The brain has a pineal gland, formerly thought to be absent in the owls. Birds show variation in the melatonin concentration between day and night. A high melatonin level is associated with sleep and low levels are associated with high alertness and foraging activity. Spotted owlets, however, show only a slightly lower melatonin concentration at night with a slight increase in the early afternoon. Other owls such as the barn owl show little day-night variation. Seasonal changes in glandular activity have been associated with environmental factors such as temperature and humidity.

I'll have to check this out more. This is a generic bird pineal gland. If it's supposed to look like a pinecone, it isn't the part I was expecting.

submitted 4 days ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

Photo by Fleur Walton

Sorry for the relatively low effort posts today, I'm traveling back home today.

Masked Owls are one of the larger Australian Tyto species. Formerly also known as Mouse Owls, from catching mice at homesteads. Habitat loss is affecting these guys, as it is for many owls, and this species is starting to be given conservation status in different areas.

From Wikipedia:

Masked owls follow the typical pattern of birds from the tropics being much smaller than birds from temperate regions. In this instance, Tasmanian masked owls are the largest and the largest of the entire barn-owl family. Among the species in the family, only the greater sooty owl is on average heavier than the Australian masked owl but the Tasmanian species is rather larger and heavier even than the greater sooty owl.

submitted 4 days ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

From Middle Tennessee Raptor Center

The many faces of Lucy.

submitted 5 days ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

Photos by pe_ha45

Came across this funny group of pics of a Boreal Owl heading out and immediately reconsidering its decision.

I linked the photographer's owl specific folder, they have some really beautiful Ural Owl pics, but I just posted one of those recently.


Great Grey Owl (lemmy.world)
submitted 6 days ago* (last edited 5 days ago) by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

Photos by Mandenno Photography

The Great Grey Owl is generally considered the largest owl in the world by overall length. It also has the largest facial disc.

It is found all across the Northern hemisphere. It prefers coniferous taiga forests, but has been found in places as far south as around 40°N and sometimes lower on rare occasion.

The actual "size" of a Gray is easy to misunderstand. They are about 70% feathers, and are outweighed by many other owls. Grays just have very long and fluffy feathers.

For actual numbers I'll just share their Wiki entry:

In terms of length, the great grey owl is believed to exceed the Eurasian eagle-owl and the Blakiston's fish owl as the world's largest owl. The great grey is outweighed by those two species as well as several others, including most of the genus Bubo. Much of its size is deceptive, since this species' fluffy feathers, large head and the longest tail of any extant owl obscure a body lighter than that of most other large owls. The length ranges from 61 to 84 cm (24 to 33 in), averaging 72 cm (28 in) for females and 67 cm (26 in) for males. The wingspan can exceed 152 cm (5 ft 0 in), but averages 142 cm (4 ft 8 in) for females and 140 cm (4 ft 7 in) for males. The adult weight ranges from 580 to 1,900 g (1.28 to 4.19 lb), averaging 1,290 g (2.84 lb) for females and 1,000 g (2.2 lb) for males. The males are usually smaller than females, as with most owl species.

Marsh Owl (lemmy.world)
submitted 6 days ago* (last edited 6 days ago) by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

Photos by Don-Jean Léandri-Breton

Marsh Owls are from southern Africa. As the name would indicate, they live in marshes or open grasslands.

They're an ground nester like the Short Eared Owl, and its habitat is being affected by existing agriculture. They are currently not listed as endangered though, probably due to their fairly wide distribution.

Guilty Face (lemmy.world)
submitted 1 week ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

Photo by eivind-b

Cute expression on this owl. I'm thinking it's a Barking Owl. It wasn't Identified by the photographer.

submitted 1 week ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

Photos by Nigel Pye

A lot of great photos here by this photographer.

Many other good galleries on his page as well!

Some European Owls (lemmy.world)
submitted 1 week ago* (last edited 1 week ago) by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

Photos by Anton Mironenko-Marenkov

Ural Owl

Morepork / Ruru (lemmy.world)
submitted 1 week ago* (last edited 1 week ago) by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

Photo by Hayden Wood

Taken in the photographer's shed.

The Morepork seems to be caught in the middle of battle between man and rat. NZ wants to poison the Pacific Rat (kiore), and there have been air drops of massive amounts of poison. The poison does kill huge amounts of the rats, but about 95% of owl pellets have the rats in them, so owls consume the poison rats and die.

On the other hand, NZ had no native terrestrial mammals, since New Zealand was already far off in the ocean before any mammals existed. Due to this, the owls never evolved a defense against rats, so the rats eat a number of baby owls or owl eggs.

The government argues this is still a net benefit for the native wildlife, but as these poisoning efforts seem to not work completely, letting the rat populations bounce back, it seems local animals are killed by the poison and the rats.

The Maori people also do not seem to want the rats killed off. They have cultural importance to them, and it seems they purposely brought them to New Zealand in their boats.

Conservation in New Zealand sounds like a difficult job!

If any locals can add some insight, that would be great. It seems there are many conflicting perspectives on this matter. I know in the US poisoning can be a big issue to our raptors. Even bald eagles succumb to the collected poison in their systems. New Zealand seems extra vulnerable though, due to animals not having a natural defense to these types of animals.

This got a little more intense than I intended, so I'll add some more pics of cute owls in the comments!

Baby owl (lemmy.ml)
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Screechie Poof (lemmy.world)
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I don't often see the Screech Owl taking this pose. Being a small owl, it usually flees instead of trying to stand its ground.

From Three Rivers Avian Center

This grey eastern screech owl has recovered from his concussion and is heading back home! He was very annoyed at being disturbed when his enclosure was being cleaned, but he got left some food to make up for his trouble. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone!!

submitted 1 week ago* (last edited 1 week ago) by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

Click hear to hear it hooting

Happy Thanksgiving to all the US owl fans here, and a big thank you to everyone around the world that visits here.

I'm thankful I've gotten the opportunity to learn new things about animals with you every day for the last few months. We've been able to teach each other so many things, both about the places we're from, and places most of us will probably never see.

We've gotten closer to each other, no matter where we are physically, and hopefully we feel a closer bond with our fellow creatures we share this world with.

Also a huge thanks to all the animal rescue and rehab workers. They work around the clock, entirely reliant on donations, and it is a tough job. Only about 30% of animals that make it to a rescue will survive. It must take a big heart and an iron will to deal with that amount of loss in a daily basis.

submitted 1 week ago* (last edited 1 week ago) by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

I normally don't post goofy stuff, but I'm finding Australian local news has a very dry and self depricating humor I enjoy.

Article from UPI

A new South Wales, Australia, man attempted to keep birds away from his cat's food with a homemade owl sculpture, but "accidentally made a magpie god."

Giulio Cuzzilla said he learned that magpies can be deterred with owl sculptures, but he didn't want to spend a lot of money on one, so he made his own out of paper mache and feathers.

"I now know it doesn't really look like an owl, but a dead cat rather," Cuzzilla wrote in a comment under his TikTok video.

He said the magpies initially seemed to fear his sculpture, but they eventually started to approach it and engage in behaviors Cuzzilla said seemed like "worship."

"I accidentally made a magpie god," he wrote.

Gisela Kaplan, an emeritus professor in animal behavior at the University of New England, said the magpies in the video aren't actually showing deference to the owl sculpture, they are making territorial calls to try to scare it away.

Cuzzilla said the magpie god's reign came to an end when a storm dismantled the idol. He said he has now grown a fondness for the magpies.

"When you observe their antics, you can't help but find them quite cute," he wrote. "We even named one of the babies Ricky."

Serendib Scops Owl (lemmy.world)
submitted 1 week ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

Photo by Wayne Geater

Stumbled upon this beautiful bird this morning. I love the coloring and the subtle speckling. Make sure you zoom in on this photo to get a good look!

This owl was discovered 2001, and was the first new bird discovered in Sri Lanka since 1868. It lives in remote rainforest, where it is the only nocturnal avian predator.

The person who finally discovered it had heard an unknown bird call and chased it for 6 years before finally finding this tiny owl.

In 2006, the population was estimated at only 80 birds. Truly rare, and I'm glad we get to see it, and hopefully it will be protected.

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Wanted some more Barred Owl.

Here's a few owl photos from Crazy M for your enjoyment.

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Wanted to post some more common owls today and I found a small photo gallery by Susan Carlson that had a handful of nice owl photos.

It starts to get dead in my field of work this time of year, so there isn't much to do, so like this cute Barred Owl, I'm just trying to stay awake this morning.

Enjoy the owls! I'm curious to see what your favorite is today.

It feels like activity has died down a bit, but glancing at the number of likes in Top 6 Hours for All seems to be lower than I remember as well. Anyone else feeling a lull in Lemmy traffic in the other communities you frequent?

submitted 1 week ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

From 3TV / CBS 5 Phoenix

A neighborhood in Laveen really gives a “hoot” about their owls. The Rogers Ranch 2 HOA recently filed a petition to create an owl preserve near the school. In the city’s empty piece of land, dozens of Burrowing Owls have made it their home. “We’ve been told there’s been as many as 17 here at one time at the peak season. The owls love this place,” said neighbor Michael Norton.

This summer, city maintenance crews bladed the property to eradicate or control Stinknet weeds that infested the region. Roger’s Ranch HOA says that the owl burrows on the property were wiped out the next morning because of the blading. When the owls came back, the neighborhood wanted to create a way to keep the owls safe. “We want to make sure they’re not going to go extinct and that they do have the ability to populate,” said neighbor Dana Kenney.

Arizona’s Family reached out to the city of Phoenix for comment. They said, “Parks and Recreation staff certified in Burrowing Owl Management, as well as staff from the City’s Office of Environmental Programs (OEP), have visited the site regularly for the past 5 months, and as recently as Tuesday, November 14, and have found no evidence of burrowing owl presence or active owl nests on the vacant park property.”

Since 2003, the city of Phoenix has kept the nearly 16-acre property empty. Neighbors say they’ve pushed to have a park in the area, but the city says it doesn’t have enough funding to build one. They hope that protecting the owls and building a safe place for the community will come in the upcoming years. “We’re building in their land, so we need to make sure they have a place where they can safely be,” Kenney said.

submitted 1 week ago* (last edited 1 week ago) by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

Came across this article today and thought I'd share. Someone was mentioning a murder of crows to me yesterday and I forgot what people called a group of owls.

The article seems to be written with good humor in mind, and not as a scolding, so I ask you take it so as such also.

No, It’s Not Actually a Murder of Crows

Okay, technically it is, but we should still abandon absurd—and antiquated—terms of venery.

By Nicholas Lund, Audubon News

You’ve heard them all before, somewhere. In a bad poem, maybe, or as part of an online clickbait-y slideshow. “Did you know that a group of owls is called a ‘parliament’?” “Did you know that a group of jellyfish is called a ‘smack’?” “Did you know that a group of Indonesian mountain weasels is called a ‘bubble gum’?”

I made that last one up, but how would you know? As familiar as they are, these little nicknames for groups of animals—terms of venery, if you want to get fancy with it—are supposedly delightful quirks of the English language.

But they’ve always left me feeling annoyed.

Annoyed because, as a lifelong birder, I’ve never once used “parliament” for owls or “murder” for crows or anything of the sort. Or heard anyone else use them. A group of birds—any birds— is a “flock.” A group of cows is a “herd.” Other than that, I just don’t see enough groups of other animals to need more words.

I needed to know: Are there actual people in the real world who use special group names for certain species? Or is there just one nerd in an office somewhere with a field guide in one hand and a dictionary in the other, matching each species with a cute little term and laughing maniacally when the world collectively coos over the pairing?

I needed to ask those closest to the source. I needed to talk to some scientists.

Have you ever referred to a group of vultures as a “venue”?

Dr. Keith L. Bildstein, Sarkis Acopian Director of Conservation Science, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary: “No, I have not.”

Have you ever used the term “chain” for a group of bobolinks?

Dr. Noah Perlut, bobolink researcher, University of New England: “I’ve now studied bobolinks intensively for 14 years and, no, I’ve not heard it.”

Have you ever called a group of woodcocks a “fall”?

Jake Walker, studied woodcocks for his master’s thesis at Trent University, Ontario: “I sure as hell would never say it, nor have I heard it said.”

Do you ever use the term “rhumba” of rattlesnakes? “Congress” of salamanders? “Bask” of crocodiles? “Generation” of vipers?

Dr. David Steen, reptile expert, Auburn University: “I’ve never used any of these and would have no idea what someone was talking about if I heard them.”

Do you ever refer to a group of wombats as a “wisdom”?

Dr. Lindsay Hogan, Australian marsupial biologist: “Wombats do not form groups in the wild.”

I see.

So it’s clear that scientists do not use terms of venery. These things exist in a world of their own, where bar trivia is king. And I mean, trivia is important and all, but without real-world applications, aren’t these just morsels of linguistic candy rotting cavities into our scientific integrity?

Okay, fine. Maybe an investigation into the origins of the terms is warranted. After all, these dumb names must have come from somewhere, right?

They did—the Middle Ages. The earliest known collection of terms of venery (an archaic term for “hunting”) is in the Book of Saint Albans, a kind of handbook on manliness first published in 1486. Included among chapters on “hawking” and “the blasing of arms” was a list of “the Compaynys of Beestys and Fowlys,” where many of our common terms of venery made their first appearances. “Pride of lions” is in there, along with a “flock of sheep” and “herd of deer.”

I’ll admit that it makes sense for hunters to employ these terms. They’re out looking for groups of different kinds of animals, and I suppose I can envision a scenario in which it is more efficient to use unique terms for each set of creatures. But that logic falls apart in other parts of the list, which weren’t about “beestys” or “fowlys” at all. A “doctrine of doctors” is in there. So is “a state of princes” and an “execution of officers.” I understand that the Middle Ages were a pretty rough time, but you can’t tell me people were out there hunting groups of princes.

Terms of venery are, and always have been, whimsy. They’re a lark (and a whole list of such terms is, therefore, an exaltation of larks), applied at one time to groups of commonly-hunted animals but then extended for fun to groups of people, and to creatures, like the wombat, who are only found in wisdoms when they’re packed into a zoo.

Now I will concede that certain terms of venery have made the transition from factoid to actual phrase. Pod of whales. Troop of monkeys. Gaggle of geese. Pack of wolves. Those tend to be used for animals that naturally live in small groups, and those are fine. Keep ‘em.

They’re not the ones that annoy me. But “murder of crows,” and the like—the ones that people giggle over despite no actual instance of anyone using the term to refer to a flock of crows maybe ever in history—those need to go.

Accuracy is part of the reason. Bandwidth is another. Why use our limited brain space on fake animal facts when there are so many interesting things that are actually true? Wombats don’t form wisdoms, but they poop cubes. Did you know that? Cubes! You’ll blow them away at bar trivia with that one.

So, let’s ditch the dead weight and stick to what’s true. The next time someone gives me a wink and a nudge and says, “Did you know a group of owls is called a ‘parliament’?” I’m going to respond, “Did you know anyone who believes that is part of a ‘gaggle of gullibles’?"

Jungle Owlet (lemmy.world)
submitted 1 week ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

Photos by Pradeepkumar Devadoss

I don't post many pygmy owls, so I felt the need to change that.

This little birdie from India and Sri Lanka is missing the typical "eyes on the back of the head" spots many pygmy owls have.

The yellow eyes indicate they are diurnal, active mainly at dawn and dusk, and simei during the day itself.

They are found in some parts of the Himalayas, up to 6600ft, or 2000m.

Diet is largely insects, but still take the opportunity to snag small birds, rodents, or reptiles as well.

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