Sunday, 17 June 2007

Athena noctua

A few weeks ago I found this Little Owl (Athena noctua/Steenuil), not far from my home. He (or she) is very confident, having a fix perch at the roof of an old barn on a farmyard.
Since this is one of my favorite birds, I decided to make a summer evening project out of it (although this photo was actually taken in the early morning). The farmer allowed me to place a hide at a strategic position, i.e. on top of a big plastic-covered heap of silage. The Little Owl accepted the hide without any problem and it was an impressive experience to observe this predator at close range. I was especially fascinated by the various facial expressions. The owl was very much interested in UFO’s, e.g. every air-balloon was followed conscientiously.
For me personally this is more than just a registration photo, it reminds me to a perfect, small-scale and self-sustainable world where nature and human activities go hand-in-hand and even enrich each other. Okay, there is no point in denying it; after all I’m a true romanticist.
Oh, by the way, did you know that the Little Owl was sacred to the goddess Athena, from whom it gets its generic name.

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