Monday, February 18, 2008

Bubo bubo

Bubo bubo is a Latin name for the biggest owl that lives in Slovenia. And in Europe, I suppose. It is Eagle Owl in English. Each year at this time, most of the ornithologists go out and search for them. I am not an ornithologist but anyway, each year I take part in this search. It is a good news that they are slowly spreading around Slovenia. There are quite a few in the vicinity of Ljubljana in the last few years.
Yesterday I went out into the woods with Mr Ž. to listen to one. To tell the truth, I am scared of those woods in the night and also in a daylight. I don't know why. Maybe because the history of those hills is not so bright. Many people died there during the II. WW. There are bears wandering around. I rarely cycle in those woods. When I do, I am restless. But owls like them and other living creatures too.
The sun was just going behind the nearest hill when we drove up there. We had to walk for about 500 m from the road. There we stopped and at 17:38 we heard it: uuu. Deep and strong. About 8 seconds later followed another one. And he continued to do so for another 5 minutes. Not long after that we heard the shrieking sound of a female. The sound reminded me a bit of a sound that I make when I blow into a primrose. Not all primroses make sound but I like playing with (on) them. And eating them when I get bored with making noise.
It was getting real dark and I was a bit cold, standing still in a light but freezing wind. I always take a blanket with me and wrap it around my waist, so that I have a kind of skirt around my legs. It is much warmer this way and I don't complain about the cold like I would normally do.
My favorite feathers are those of the owls. They are so soft to the touch which enables them that they fly noiseless.
Later, when walking back to the car, a deer barked. There was no fox making sounds. And we made another tick on our (owl) list and hopefully there will be young owls in a few weeks time making their weird sound from the hills near my home. And then it will soon be time to go on another bird monitoring near my home. In May and June I will be searching for Corncrakes (Crex crex). Another scary middle of the night expedition.

1 comment: said...

Eagle owls are very majestic looking. I didn't know that they could be so quiet when they flew.