Peta Constable’s ‘British Owls’ account
British Owls talk, 23rd September 2014
NATURALISTS: On September 23rd the WNS indoor hosted Peter Smith who gave a humorous and informative presentation on all the species of owls on the Britishlist. A stunning series of Peter’s own photographs entranced the audience. Some were as hilarious as Peter’s own stories and information. We saw owls in flight, owls with prey, owls feeding their young, owls pulling faces, owls colliding with their young, owls playing peek-a-boo and the eggs of Barn owls laid in Peter’s own hide.
Peter ran through the nesting, behavioural and dietary features of our five main species: Tawny owl – the most common; Barn owl – which is having a breeding bonanza this year; Little owl; Long-eared owl – the most nocturnal and Short-eared owl – the most diurnal, with the longest wings and the only completely ground nesting owl.
Peter ended up introducing the largest owl in the world, the Eurasian Eagle owl now established as a breeding resident in Bowland and famous for having knocked to the ground a woman police officer sent to investigate its presence.
The final owl on the British list – the Snowy owl – was recorded just once in 1963 on the Shetlands. The next meeting is on October 14th .
Photo by By Tony Hisgett from Birmingham, UK (Snowy Owl Uploaded by Magnus Manske) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons