Science - June 1, 2012

Owl drops by at knowledge centre

It's not a common encounter, and certainly not on the way to work. But Joop Spijker from Alterra came across it this morning: a long-eared owl right in front of his employer's front door.

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Without hesitation, he darted inside to get a good camera and captured the image from a good vantage point. The long-eared owl couldn't give two hoots and remained unruffled. It was then perched on a bicycle at the front entrance of Lumen. It is obviously a young bird which has just left its nest, says Spijker. 'Luckily, it can fly and has moved subsequently to perch on a tree branch. From there, it will be calling out for food this evening as I think it is still too young to forage for himself.'
Bicycle
The young long-eared owl on the bicycle points to the presence of a nest in the vicinity. Spijker: 'Long-eared owls are often found in tall trees and groups of trees. It's possible that this one comes from a spot by  Droevendaalsesteeg. I happen to know too that long-eared owls occupied the old section of Radix in the past. Apparently, these owls can survive in these surroundings.' And this young owl seems to have a penchant for bicycles. Spijker: 'I think that he sees the bicycles as a small group of trees.

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