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Weedon

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Surprisingly (not) I rather like examining pellets as well, I also spend a bit of time examining that which comes out of the other end of wild animals as well, now that many would consider YUK, but informative.

Your grandchildren, and some adults, may find this link interesting.

http://www.rspb.org.uk/youth/makeanddo/do/pellet/recognising_pellets.asp

Somewhere on the RSPB site there is a very good PDF file which has drawings / diagrams for the identification of the bones found in Barn Owl pellets.

Chris

 

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http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a372/weedonwite/owlinappletree.jpg

 

This one I believe is a Long Eared Owl ? which found a home in one of our trees in 2004.  We also had a Little Owl which unfortunately came to grief down our chimney and into our log-burner whilst we were away.

weedon

http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a372/weedonwite/RIMG0001.jpg

This is a Moorhens nest on our pond this year.  There were 4 eggs of which 2 hatched but as far as I know only one survived.  It will be interesting to see if they return this year.

 

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[quote user="Weedon"]

 

This one I believe is a Long Eared Owl ? which found a home in one

of our trees in 2004.  We also had a Little Owl which

unfortunately came to grief down our chimney and into our log-burner

whilst we were away.

weedon

 [/quote]

How big can long eared owls get? The reason I ask is that there's

one aroung here with a "tufted" head that is absolutely gigantic (the

wingspan looks like about a metre and the body about 60cm. I can't

believe that we could get Eagle owls around here...unless its an

escapee?

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I am not an expert by any means. In fact before we moved here I can't think I had seen many owls before, and certainly never as close as this.  But the ones I have seen flying look to have huge wingspans when in fact it's probably a trick of the eye.

From what I have deduced from different postings, Chris P is the "LF Bill Oddie" and could tell you more.  Until I did a "google" and looked at Owl websites I was under the impression that all species of Owls did a "twit too woo" when in fact it is only the Tawny that does that.  Other species have their own calls and I find it interesting to wander around at night and listen to the different calls.

If my info on the Tawny (too wet to woo) is wrong don't shoot me down.

weedon

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We have a "barny" that lives in the barn also used to store our caravan.

When we first had the property, and no furniture, we used the caravan to sleep in.........and awoke with a start the first time I heard the barn-owl call. What a strange and chilling noise THAT is[^o)]

Alcazar

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Jon, what you are describing sounds very much like an Eagle Owl or Hibou Grand Duc, the dimensions that you have given are pretty much spot on. If you have, as far as I know it would be a rarity in Vendèe, do you see it often?

Long eared grow to about 35cm. Have to say the one in your photo Weedon looks a bit rough!

Chris ( not at all oddie, well maybe a little bit).

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[quote user="chris pp"]

Jon, what you are describing sounds very much like an Eagle Owl or Hibou Grand Duc, the dimensions that you have given are pretty much spot on. If you have, as far as I know it would be a rarity in Vendèe, do you see it often?

Long eared grow to about 35cm. Have to say the one in your photo Weedon looks a bit rough!

Chris ( not at all oddie, well maybe a little bit).

[/quote]

 

Oh come on....give an Owl a break I 've been up all night, and then some twit comes along and takes pictures before I had chance to put my face on.

weedon

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[quote user="chris pp"]

Jon, what you are describing sounds very much

like an Eagle Owl or Hibou Grand Duc, the dimensions that you have

given are pretty much spot on. If you have, as far as I know it would

be a rarity in Vendèe, do you see it often?

Long eared grow to about 35cm. Have to say the one in your photo Weedon looks a bit rough!

Chris ( not at all oddie, well maybe a little bit).

[/quote]

Hi Chris,

Having unearthed a bird book I knew I had somewhere I think that is

must be it, though I am surprised, looking at the very helpful little

map they include, that it's this far west. Still, it is definately not

a tawney or barn owl (we have those too), and the long eared owl looks

completely wrong: this thing is HUGE.

I have seen it about a dozen times over the past six months, most

recently last month. Always at dusk, when I am heading up to check the

hens have managed to find their way home. It flies up our garden very

low (the first time I saw it is scared the living daylights out of me

as it flew from behind me at head height and only a couple of meters to

the side) and keeps to the line of trees, I think to hide itself from

the western sky. There is a reservior behind us, the banks of which are

covered in bunnies and other edible small beasties, and I guess it

hunts there. My friend Colin (who knows about birds and is never

outside without "bins") has spotted on his visits here three kinds of

harriers, kites, an osprey or two, short-toed eagles (about which he

got quite excited), buzzards and Lord knows what else hunting /

scavenging over there.

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Hi Jon,    All the other birds that you mentioned and those that your friend saw I would expect to be in your region and observable.  Eagle Owl, well it has to be possible, no real reason why not, in fact it isn't so much the being to far west, as being both so far north and west. They are to the west and they are to the south of you, but birds travel long distances.

I noticed that the other day a black shouldered kite was observed in the Versailles area near to Paris and last winter we had one in the south of the Vienne, not where they would be "expected to be".

It would be really good if you spoke to the LPO in Vendée about it, they would really appreciate it and there is probably a local representative not to far from you. Where are you in Vendée anyway?

Eagle Owl   Bubo bubo  Hibou grand-duc

LPO Vendée. http://www.lpo.fr/reseau/lpo-vendee.shtml 

Tawny owl, did you know that the male and the female have different calls, listen out, they are very active at the moment.

Chris

 

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[quote user="chris pp"]

Hi Jon,    All the other birds

that you mentioned and those that your friend saw I would expect to be

in your region and observable.  Eagle Owl, well it has to be

possible, no real reason why not, in fact it isn't so much the being to

far west, as being both so far north and west. They are to the west and

they are to the south of you, but birds travel long distances.

I noticed that the other day a black shouldered kite was observed in

the Versailles area near to Paris and last winter we had one in the

south of the Vienne, not where they would be "expected to be".

It would be really good if you spoke to the LPO in Vendée about it,

they would really appreciate it and there is probably a local

representative not to far from you. Where are you in Vendée anyway?

Eagle Owl   Bubo bubo  Hibou grand-duc

LPO Vendée. http://www.lpo.fr/reseau/lpo-vendee.shtml 

Tawny owl, did you know that the male and the female have different calls, listen out, they are very active at the moment.

Chris

 

[/quote]

Right in the south on the edge of the marais - I did wonder if that

might have something to do with the high concentration of raptors

around here.

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There was an escaped Lynx in the Vendée not that long ago so why not this baby dinosaur. There are some very strange things in the Marais, at night when the mist comes down. Watch the oozes shift and the purple eyes rise into the sky ,throwing a gigantic shadow that hides the moon. Pteradactyl. No, something much older and more sinister. Keep the dogs and babies in!
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  • 1 month later...
Weedon . Think your guest is the Scops Owl in your apple tree, it has heavier white eyebrows than the long- eared.It likes hunting in open spaces so it prefers selected perches for daytime roosting.The long-eared owl prefers roosting in dense vegetation he is the guy who makes the'oo' notes.Scops make human-like whistle,bit like the sound of slow time signal pips.on that note I will pip off. By the way, why haven't you a cowl on your chimney protecting the liner etc, it will be jackdaws nesting next.?.Happy days.Michael.
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  • 3 months later...

Had a notification the other week about what could only be an Eagle Owl near to where I live, the people whose garden it was in know next to nothing about birds and are a quite ordinary couple. Their garden is in the middle of the countryside and surrounded by woodlands and cereal fields, only two other houses near by.

When I spoke to them about it, the bird had already departed after staying there for about a week but they gave a perfect description of what could only have been an Eagle Owl. I assumed that it must have been an escapee, but on discussing this earlier this evening it turns out that it is a bird that is extending its range in France and that it is not the only one to have been seen in the department in recent years.

So, there we go, look out for Eagle Owls.

Chris

 

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They eat goats. They are seriously impressive birds. I had one flown to my wrist a few years back - I declared a clean underpant alert!

But if they are extending their range presumably their prey is also extending - would that generally be rabbits and such? I know the goat thing is an exception (apparently they knock the goats off of hillsides and eat the bits at the bottom. Of the hill, not the goat.)

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I don't think that prey is much of an issue with them, they will eat almost anything that they can kill; (sounds a bit like French hunters, thought I'd get that one in long before the season starts). 

I don't think anyone knows the reason for sure but two possibilities were raised, one was that this has occurred since they became a protected species in France, the other which seems to be affecting a number of species is climate change, very small changes in climate will be "noticed" by wild creatures, changes that are far to small to be perceptible to us humans.

Chris

 

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