Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Intriguing Owl

Owls have fascinated man from time immemorial - to some cultures they are symbols of wisdom, while to others they are harbingers of doom and death.

Barred Owl
Forest Glen, Nova Scotia

And to crafters, they are just too darned cute!
There are owl cakes, owl quilts, owl jewelry pieces,
owl die-cuts for scrapbookers, and owl just-about-anything-else!
Because owls have stormed the craft world this past year,
I thought it might be fun to post a few owl facts. 
Christmas 2011 gifts for all the kiddos!

Most owls are nocturnal birds of prey with some exceptions:
Several types of owl, however, are crepuscular — active during
the twilight hours of dawn and dusk; one example is the Pygmy owl
Because of the nocturnal habits of owls,
they are a coveted check mark on any birder's life list.
"Their habits, and cryptic plumage,
make it easy for us to walk straight past them."


Worldwide, there are 223 species
In North America, 37
My life list:  only 3 visual, 1 audio

Barred Owl,
Somewhere in Maine

Though owls are typically solitary,
the literary collective noun for a group of owls is a parliament. 
Interestingly, if you look up parliament in the dictionary,
there is no mention of owls.

Sunflower Baking
The smallest owl — weighing as little as 31 g (1.1 oz)
and measuring some 13.5 cm (5.3 inches) — is the Elf Owl . 
The largest owl by length is the the Great Grey Owl,
which measures around 70 cm (28 in) on average
 and can attain a length of 84 cm (33 in).

Scientists studying the diets of owls are helped by
their habit of regurgitating the indigestible parts of their prey
(such as bones, scales and fur) in the form of pellets.
These "owl pellets" are plentiful and easy to interpret,
and are often sold by companies to schools for
dissection by students as a lesson in biology and ecoloogy.

Instead of moving their eyes, owls swivel their head
to visualize their surroundings.
The swiveling radius of the owl’s head is around 270˚,
easily enabling them to see behind them without relocating the torso.

Barred Owl,
San Antonio, TX

I jumped on the owl bandwagon, too, when I saw this adorable quilt kit

For the backing, I used a flannel sheet from a sheet set
that I had purchased at half price after Christmas.   

I appliqued my little friend's name to the accompanying pillowcase!
Now she has a little matching 'set'.

The CROSSLEY ID Guide advises that if you want to see an owl,
"you will have most joy looking on the first calm evening after a storm."
Good Luck!


TexWisGirl said...

i happily enjoy my barred owls here, both visually and vocally. :)

Rambling Woods said...

What adorable owls and I have been watching the great horned and barn owl nest cams..I wish I was crafty like you..

Simone de Klerk said...

What a beautiful post! I have seen quite some owls in my life but no idea how they are called.
Your quilt turned out so pretty. Great backing.

grammie g said...

Hi Karen...Yup the Owl is very popular these days...I see then everywhere like have shown,but not a real one in the wild.. rat's...
Your quilt it eyes (Cataracts) and my inability to sit still keeps me from much sewing these days..
Great post full of good info..I keep looking up in the higher trees for them have on the ground you shot I looking in all the wrong places lol!!
I hear them in the back woods though!!

Tammy said...

Great post Karen! Very informative and wonderful photos! I'm jealous of your great owl sightings!

Abby and Stephanie said...

Mom had an owl collection on a shelf in our house. We also used to have an owl sit on a post at the end our our street in the evenings -- every night -- first thing we'd notice were the glowing eyes. Darling quilt -- love the personalized pillowcase.

Just Ramblin' said...

Another great post. A couple of years ago an owl nested near where my sister lives and it was fun to go to her place and observe the owl with the babies. They certainly attracted a lot of attention. The quilt is so cute and I'm sure Avery loved it. Did you do the owl cookies? Fun to see all your "owls" and learn some new and interesting facts. Nola

Fiona said...

Great post... I do enjoy owls - both the real life ones and the many forms we see - your quilt is lovely and the flannel will make it extra snuggly...

john bord said...

There are variety of them in the area. Came across a dead one other day, not sure what happened. There are burrowing owls here n there because of the whistle pigs in the area. Had a barn owl scare the be jeepers out of me when I startled him out of his roost in the barn. Watched mama n papa raise their little chicks high atop the cottonwood. So neat to watch the little heads pop up when it was feeding time.

Now the gingerbread owls look good with a cup of joe.

Sue Niven said...

what a super post! I kike owls and it as fun to read more about them, Love those softies you made for Christmas pressies too. thanks for a great read.

Roy said...

A lovely post Karen with some really nice shots of Owls.


My favorite owl is those on the white plate that says 'sunflower baking' under it!!!!!
Hugs, Di

Sondra said...

I love owls!! Ive seen only 4 species in he wilds, but on many occassions so thats always fun to see ONE again!!
Owls are so special no wonder they are on so many products!! A little screech owl is living in my back yard, I hear him/her making those sweet like cooooing sounds right before dark, but he is so well hidden I cant see him!!

Linda Reeder said...

That's a very cute quilt.
My mother loved owls and had quite a large collection of owl items.

Allie said...

I haven't seen an owl in ages, although I hear one from time to time. I love your owl quilt!!!!!

Cuby said...

We have Tawny Owls in the valley and I love to hear them communicating. Some times we are lucky enough to see a Barn Owl on our way through the lanes late at night. I so enjoyed this post.

Carole said...

I consider myself very lucky whenever I see an owl. I have had both great horned and western screech roosting and nesting here from time to time. Very nice post!

Lynn said...

A couple of days ago, when I was taking my early morning walk (after a rainy windy day) an owl flew right by me! I've always loved owls, my mother was a bird lover and once when we were little we had an owl family, with 3 little baby owls living in our lilac arbor. Every evening my mother would take us out to watch them.
Gee, I hadn't meant to go down memory lane.
I love the quilt, really adorable, clever idea for the backing!

Carrie P. said...

I am so jealous that you have gotten to see owls during the day. Those are great photos.
Love your quilt!!! It is so cute.
I hear barred owls in my woods sometimes but it is dark. I have gotten my flashlight out and try to find them but never do. Didn't you show a pellet one time on your blog?

Terry said...

What a cute bunch of owls! And thanks for all the cool facts too! I didn't know a group of them was called a parliament! LOL

Bob Bushell said...

The Barred Owl is so prrrrretty, it hangs out watching you. It knows a lot.

quiltmania said...

Thanks for popping by my blog. I can't get the email replies going, so I just had to come by and check out your blog. Very nice!

M and M plus 3 said...

Very interesting facts, I however have not seen one in the wild. I've heard one, but not seen him. Your quilt is really a gem! It's got that cute factor going on.

Peg - Happy In Quilting said...

Wow...that is amazing...thankyou for all the quilt....

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

That is too cute...I love your owl quilt...

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Karen: I haven't seen an owl in years. I would enjoy seeing yours.

FlourishingPalms said...

Interesting facts, Karen! You're so knowledgeable! My one and only personal encounter with an owl was quite unexpected. It was about 24 years ago, when we lived in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. At the time, my husband was working the 3 to 11 p.m. shift. One night, I fell asleep on the sofa that was right next to an open crank out window. You can imagine my surprise at been awakened to the soft "whoo" of an owl that was perched on top of the window! Being not four feet away from him, I remained awake and quiet, studying him for quite some time. He was surprisingly small (I don't know enough about owls to know the type), but certainly beautiful. I'll never forget those moments. It was wonderful.

Dog-Walker said...

Nice looking Owls. I might have told you before that I love the band Owl City. You would love to hear the songs by those guys. The songs I like by them is Fireflies, Vannila Twilight, To the Sky, and many others. You can just type in Owl City and then you'll find lots of good songs by those guys.

DeniseinVA said...

I have always had a soft spot for owls, such beautiful birds and I have rarely seen them (never in the wild). Great collection of owl photos from the real ones to the others. I hope I get to see one in the wild some day.

Connie Kresin Campbell said...

Great facts on owls, I know I am fascinated by them! Love your quilt too!

Laurence Butler said...

Love the photos Karen, and I appreciate all of the extra work and research you put into your posts.
That Barred Owl has some of the best eyes in the Birding World; it's just bout at the top of my Must See list.
Thanks for sustaining me while the search goes on.

Kelly said...

...cute, cute quilt! Loved the shots of the Barred Owl as well. I enjoyed this post...

Kay Baughman said...

What a great post! OWL Moon is one of my favorite books. I used to share it with fellow teachers and students as well as grandchildren. It is exquisitely written.
you are one of my favorite bloggers,, Karen. Birds, quilts, cookies, books--i'm on my way to read the posts Ive missed!

John said...

Hi Karen,

Owls are amazing Birds, and I never tire of hearing them, esp the one the Tawny Owl that sits on my roof and howls all night...
Wonderful Owl facts. I have been so lucky to see quite a few species on my travels.

Barb said...

Such a fun post, I enjoyed all of the owls, real and other wise...those cookies look awesome!

Linda said...

Thank you for this great information! As a teacher, I had my 2nd graders dissect owl pellets each year. They loved it! (Anything even remotely considered gross intrigues a 2nd grader!)

Kathie Brown said...

What a delightful post! Owls are indeed daunting to try to see. I have seen a few, but not as many as I would like to! That's a cute quilt!