Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Owls flying into Windows

I just added a 5 pictures...need to share the story of the first two owl pictures and the two 'prom' photos.

An ornithologist friend pointed out this 'window strike' by what appears to be a small owl on the UW campus. The owl slammed into a windowed sky bridge that connects two buildings near the Agua Verde restaurant on Lake Union.

The shape and size are owl like...you can even see the mark of the beak/bill on the upper right. fyi...Owls produce a fine powder in their feathers that aids in dampening the sound as they fly (so they can snatch small rodents). Window strikes are a big source of mortality for our feathered friends...on a happy note, it does appear that the owl survived this impact.

Here's an article describing a similar scenario with a nice picture....
http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/s/207/207091_owl_leaves_a_surprise_featherprint.html
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Regarding the prom pictures of yours truly, it was a birthday party of a friend of a friend from about 6 weeks ago....Ironically enough, like an owl I also have been known to leave a fine powdery down. My chest hair produces a fine dusting of material also used for stealthy approaches. It leaves a shroud like imprint on my bed and couch. Nice imagery huh?

Tomorrow I'm off to New Mexico for the annual meeting of the American Society of Mammalogists. Yes, 600+ mammal researchers are gathering...lots of beer, firm handshakes, and beards will be present. In preparation, I shaved. Always the outsider. Anyways, looking forward to seeing old friends and schmoozing with potential employers and collaborators.

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