Saturday, April 28, 2012

An owl for each

I hadn't realized until yesterday how beautiful barn owls are (although less so as babies!). Apparently, they are also smart enough to overcome their raptor instincts when it means making a friend of another species. A video of an owl and a cat at play is still circulating (I got an e-mail last week) a year after it was posted, and a dog-owl bond is currently making the weird news.
Gebra and Fum the cat (2nd image, video here) live in Tarragona, Spain, and have their own Facebook page. Their names (Fum = smoke and Gebra = frost in Catalan) belie their friendship - the stuff of nursery rhymes, although they have been playmates since Fum was a kitten.

Willow and Merlin the dog (1st image, photos here and here) became fast friends 3 months ago at the falconry center in Corwen, Denbighshire, Wales, where they live. The owl's handler Lorwi Peacock says the special relationship started when she was exercised* as Merlin was taken on his daily walk. Now the bird likes to ride on Merlin’s back with her wings outstretched as he goes for a run. “They are inseparable. People always stop and smile when they see them going by,” remarks Peacock.
Unlike their gorgeous feathers, the voices of barn owls (listen here) are all business.

*Maybe she is being trained like other owls at the center to carry rings down the aisle at weddings they host.
Previous posts about owls:

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