The Lurkdragon's Lair

Fifty percent animals, fifty percent fandom, one-hundred percent nerd.

Posts tagged owls

275 notes

koryos:

Sometimes you are compelled by the science gods to make a photoset of the long-whiskered owlet (Xenoglaux loweryi), a fanciful creature that probably belongs at a masquerade somewhere.

Rare, tiny (14 cm, less than 50 g), and nearly flightless, this little fellow can be found in forests of Abra Patricia in northern Peru. It has a froglike call and may eat insects, though no one has yet actually observed it eating. My guess is that it lives on stardust and David Bowie songs.

(Photos by Dubi Shapiro, Gunnar, Adam Riley, and Shachar Alterman, respectively.)

Filed under long whiskered owls owls birds wildlife queue

174 notes

fat-birds:

you guys i just now realized why a ton of you have been asking me to post pictures of the “superb owl”

i was so confused until a  minute ago

smh @ myself right now

anyways, your wish is my command, expect pictures of huge, magestic owls later tonight :’D

Filed under oh dear puns superbowl owls queue

1,254 notes

end0skeletal:

Saw-whet Owl 
Taken in 2009, this beauty posed for me is a small pine tree, not far from where I live in Niagara, Ontario, Canada. Using my tripod extended to the max for a good angle, I focused, and took the image using live view.This bird is about the size of a pop can, and such a wonder of nature. It hunts small mice, and rests out of sight from other raptors to protect itself. A few shots, and leave it be!, respect nature, so these animals and birds can live on for others to enjoy.
photo by Raymond Barlow

end0skeletal:

Saw-whet Owl

Taken in 2009, this beauty posed for me is a small pine tree, not far from where I live in Niagara, Ontario, Canada. Using my tripod extended to the max for a good angle, I focused, and took the image using live view.

This bird is about the size of a pop can, and such a wonder of nature. It hunts small mice, and rests out of sight from other raptors to protect itself. A few shots, and leave it be!, respect nature, so these animals and birds can live on for others to enjoy.

photo by Raymond Barlow

(via rhamphotheca)

Filed under saw whet owls birds wildlife queue owls

242 notes

rhamphotheca:

Screech Owls and Blind Snakes, an Unlikely Mutualism

by Andrew Durso

In the 1970s and 80s, a pair of biologists at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, Fred Gehlbach and Robert Baldridge, were studying screech owl nesting ecology. These small owls nest in tree cavities and eat a variety of small animals, from insects to mice. Like most raptorial birds, Eastern Screech Owls usually kill their prey before bringing it home to feed to their nestlings.

Gehlbach and Baldridge observed some of the screech owls in their study carrying live Texas Blindsnakes (Rena [formerly Leptotyphlops] dulcis) to their nests in experimental nest boxes like those used by wood ducks and bluebirds. When they checked the nests the next day, they found, to their surprise, between one and fifteen live blindsnakes living among the owl chicks in fourteen different nests! In some cases, the snakes lived with the baby owls for at least a week! Many of the blindsnakes bore scars from adult owl beaks, but few had been killed.

If you’re not familiar with blindsnakes (aka scolecophidians), don’t worry; few people are. There are about 400 species of these ‘seriously strange serpents’, as Darren Naish calls them over at TetZoo, distributed chiefly in the world’s tropical regions (the Texas Blindsnake is one of the few temperate exceptions). Most have small eyes (or none at all, as their name suggests), smooth round scales, and eat invertebrates. Their jaw architecture is entirely unique: their jaws act like little scoops to effectively shovel ant and termite larvae and pupae into their mouths.

(Check out the video from BBC’s Life in Cold Blood, or visit the homepage of blindsnake biologist Nate Kley at Stony Brook University.)

How does this help baby screech owls? Gehlbach and Baldridge wanted to find out, so they measured the diversity and abundance of invertebrates in the owl nests with and without live blindsnakes, as well as the health and survival of the baby owls (which they were already measuring). They found that nests with blindsnakes had significantly fewer mites, insects, and arachnids, and that baby owls from these nests were 25% more likely to survive and grew as much as 50% faster…

(read more: Life is Short, But Snakes Are Long)

Filed under owls birds snakes blindsnakes science owlets babies wildlife