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An ancient owl & a spooky coincidence.

April 15, 2012
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Owl, Chauvet Cave, France; 28-30,000 years old!

This is the oldest known human depiction of an owl anywhere in the world- about 30,000 years old! It comes from one of the limestone caves in southern France, inhabited by humans during the last ice age.

Last Friday, Friday the 13th of April, was the final fling for our Focus on Fauna project. Despite the ominous overtones provided by the date, the night was a great success. There’ll be more written about it later, but I thought I’d share this with you. The last presentation of the evening was given by Ron Litjens, about the recent fascination that he and Kate have developed for a pair of Powerful Owls that regularly roost on their property. Ron is collecting some really interesting data about the habits of this pair of owls and it was a thoroughly enjoyable talk – you can see some of Ron’s owl pics on previous posts on this site.

I got home late that night and only then noticed the image on the daily calendar we keep (above) – an owl on Friday the 13th, the night I’d just heard a talk about owls – spooky!! They are awake when we’re asleep, have silent flight, can rotate their heads through 360 degrees, their large eyes make them appear wise and they’re constantly asking the question “who?’. Little wonder that owls figure large in human mythology and Ron, and Kate, can take comfort in being part of a long tradition of humans being fascinated by these remarkable creatures.

For more about Chauvet Cave, the owl and the humans that lived there, you can  ‘visit’ the cave and see the owl for yourself, or read about the cave on Wikipedia.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 15, 2012 12:06 pm

    Do you know I don’t think I have ever actually seen a real owl!

  2. April 15, 2012 12:38 pm

    Hi Julie. Well, other than the Southern Boobook Owl, which occurs over much of our continent, there may not be many owls in your region, perticulalry if there isn’t much bush around. And Boobooks are small birds, and of course nocturnal, so you can be forgiven for not having seen one. But you may well have heard one, have a look here to see and hear boobooks – http://www.owlpages.com/owls.php?genus=Ninox&species=boobook

  3. Susan permalink
    April 16, 2012 7:42 am

    Ron’s presentation was a real hoot. His enthusiasm for all aspects of the powerful owls is very tangible and wonderful to see – even the pellets! We hear more than see owls at our property in Strath as well.

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