Hello Mr. Ural Owl

look! An Ural Owl. Hi there. Uh-oh, the Urals are very aggressive and will attack you if you come near their nest.

Posted in pics | Tagged | Leave a comment

Owl Beer From Colorado

Not had the pleasure yet of this beer from Colorado brewery Odell’s but I am getting pretty obsessed with their amazing IPA which seems to be coming more and more commonplace here in the UK. Hope I can find one of these at a specialist shop, otherwise it will have to be on my to do list for my next visit to the States.

Posted in food & drink | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

It’s a laughing owl!

Photographed Tin Man Lee captured this amazing shot of a Snowy Owl yawning in a way that made it look like ti was yawning. The shot has now gone global

Posted in pics | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Adopt An Owl!

Gift Republic Adopt It Adopt An Owl Turbary Woods Sanctuary

owl in a box

Gift Republic do a very nice gift to get for your fellow owl-lovers – “Adopt An Owl” gift box back. Each pack allows the recipient to adopt an owl (they can choose the species) for 12 months. This supports the rescue and rehabilitation work at Turbary Woods Owl Sanctuary in Preston and includes a free ticket for visiting the centre. you can get the gift pack from here for £19.99

Posted in Shopping | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Owls In The Stove

Tawny Owl in a wood-burning stove burner fireplace chimney flue owlsThe Parkers of Stowmarket, UK returned home from a trip away to discover two tawny owls inside their wood burning stove. They had squeezed down the chimney flue into the stove.

Fortunately, rather than cook them, the Parkers released them. A UK tabloid quotes Mrs.Parker as saying the owl were lucky the fire was not on but I suspect owls probably have a natural instinct that stops them flying head-on through a tiny tunnel full of smoke into a blazing fire. Otherwise they would have gone the way of the dodo and the Gary Glitter fanclub.

Tawny Owl in a wood-burning stove burner fireplace chimney flue owls

DISCLAIMER: do not capture wild animals then shut them in a stove so you can sell the photos, not that the Parkers did, just don't want you to get bad ideas

Posted in pics | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole

Legend of the Guardians, Owls of Ga'Hoole Gahoole film movie poster Based on the books by Kathryn Lasky, this film is a funny old beast. To look at the poster you would expect a cutsie family film with plenty of comic relief but a quick look at the details reveals the director is a certain Zack Snyder. That is the same Zack Snyder who directed Watchmen, 300, the remake of Dawn of the Dead and Sucker Punch.

So, in effect, what we have here is an attempt to do an epic movie in the style of Lord Of The Rings only all in CGI and with owls instead of people. The story follows a young owl who sets out to rescue his little sister from an evil army of owls by seeking out the assitance of the legendary Guardian owls. His older brother, meanwhile, is seduced by the power and might of the evil army and the two brothers end up on opposing sides of the conflict.

Anyone with a passing familiarity with the fantasy genre will get a sense of deja vu about the plot. While it might not break new grounds, it still feels quite innovative in what is essentially a family annimated film. The battle scenes are surprisingly dark with owls going to war wearing steel claws and the story of the siblings is genuinely moving and touching.

The animation is so detailed and stunning that at times you have to keep reminding yourself that this is not a real film. There is also a fantastic cast providing voices including a demonic turn from Helen Mirren and Hugo Weaving bringing depth to his part.

Unfortunately, the film lets itself down on the soundtrack. The original score is just too bombastic without any impact. It serves as a joyless, soul-less homage to John Williams (who is great, BTW, don’t complain). Even worse it features a twee, annoying song by the twee, annoying Owl City.

There is no doubt that this is a visual treat and must have been even better in 3D but the film just does not really quite reach into “classic” status. There are some very original aspects of it but at the same time it does also feel like another “multiplex” film, especially with the dreary, irritating, generic soundtrack.

Yet, if you love owls and are not a snob about family films, then it is still well worth seeking out and can even stand up to repeated viewing. Also, as the film is no longer brand new, it can be picked up for bargain prices. On Amazon UK it is currently only a fiver on DVD
and it is currently only £15 for a triple-play blu-ray that has normal blu-ray, 3d blu-ray and a digital copy which isn’t bad at all.

Posted in movies, review | Leave a comment

The owls won’t stop barking……..

Barking Owls owlets babies australia
It is OK, I’ve not had a breakdown. The post title refers to the fact that these little blighters are the Barking Owl, AKA the Barking Boobook or Winking Owl. I think I prefer The Barking Boobook. Anyway, the name comes because they can bark and growl like a dog, as well as make the loud sounds of a screaming lady. So loud, in fact, that they are widely credited with being the source of the Aboriginal legend of the Bunyip – a fearsome swamp monster whose cries could be heard at night.

Here they are in action:

Unfortunately, due to a decline in their habitat (woodlands being cleared for farmland), Their nUmbers are declining

Posted in cryptozoology, pics, videos | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Owl Service

Always meant to read this book. I shall give it a go soon.

It won awards, got turned into a TV show and even had a very good band named after it. The back cover blurb states:

Winner of both the Guardian Award and the Carnegie Medal, this is an all-time classic, combining mystery, adventure, history and a complex set of human relationships.

It all begins with the scratching in the ceiling. From the moment Alison discovers the dinner service in the attic, with its curious pattern of floral owls, a chain of events is set in progress that is to effect everybody’s lives.

Relentlessly, Alison, her step-brother Roger and Welsh boy Gwyn are drawn into the replay of a tragic Welsh legend – a modern drama played out against a background of ancient jealousies. As the tension mounts, it becomes apparent that only by accepting and facing the situation can it be resolved.

“…A rare imaginative feat and the taste that it leaves is haunting.” The Observer

“One of the first and best [novels] for and about teenagers; it remains one of the most original and gripping ghost stories… timeless.” Amanda Craig, The Times

“Alan Garner’s The Owl Service is not meant only for children or anyone else; it’s a novel; and not many better novels will be published this year…The power grows, throbs nearer, builds to unbearable tension, and comes to wild release in the last few pages.” The Guardian

“A fascinating book… The Owl Service is a fabulous, multi-layered book of mystery and suspense.” The Book Bag

“This book is a superb piece of architecture in which every detail plays its proper part.” Growing Point

I think I am going to have to cure my ignorance very soon, especially as it is on Amazon for well under a fiver

Posted in books | Tagged , | Leave a comment

an owl in the hand…..

Hi, my name is Ned & I’m an owlaholic.
Tawny owl and Little Owl being handled big eyes

Don’t try this at home, those will be the hands of a professional owl-handler.

Posted in pics | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Good-Night, Owl!

Good-Night Owl by Pat Hutchins. Childrens Book. Owls.Here is our household’s latest owl-related score, a classic storybook for children by Yorkshire-born artist Pat Hutchins. As you can tell by the cover it has a very 70s aesthetic and this edition is an ex-library book so it had that clear polythene cover binding that libraries put on children’s books.

We bought it for our little two-year old but I must admit I am fascinated by it too. I was child of the 70s so it is a bit like a fuzzy memory brought to life and the binding just tops it off. It is a bit like a trip in the TARDIS just holding it.

Anyway, it’s all about an owl struggling to sleep while all the other animals make noise all day but come nightfall, he gets his revenge noisily.

If you want one too, you can get it here

Posted in books, Shopping | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment