Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A book recommendation + owl behavior links

I mentioned this a long time ago, but if you missed it, I'm going to mention it again!

There's a magical book by Lynne Cox called "Grayson"

It's destined to be a classic, and you'd even think it was mythological had it not happened in front of a myriad of witnesses right off the coast here near Long Beach! Lynne is a world champion cold water swimmer - having swum the bering strait in a BIKINI, for example, dodging the floating ice all the way. She's done the English channel and held the title for the youngest and fastest. She has the record for swimming from Catalina to the mainland and even swam the Cape of Good Hope while a white shark came at her to attack her, and one of the divers there to protect her fought the shark off. YIKES!

So she was doing her morning workout, which is so far beyond what any of us could even imagine doing. She'd swim all the way to the oil platforms and back. One morning a baby gray whale came up to her and grunted and made other sounds. He was lost! He couldn't find his mother! She stayed with him for hours while trying to help him find his mother. You HAVE to read this. It's really short but it's one of those books you think about for a long time afterward.

Her other book, "Swimming to Antarctica" is so inspiring you'll wonder why you ever got discouraged or ever gave up on anything. This woman just does not give up. Period. If it takes 12 years of constant letter writing to get through to some politician(in this case Gorbachov himself) so that you can swim the bering strait during the cold war, you keep at it!

I think for us in the Barn Owl Alliance, her story can be particularly inspiring, since she just never seemed to even consider giving up no matter how difficult the way was going to be. And she seems to have won every time - it was her persistence and patience and how she never gave up, long after most people would have.

This book will give you some perspective and make you want to just dig in and work on this thing and FIX it, by gosh. And we will, but it may take a long time and a lot of patience. And if it does, the patience of Lynne Cox might be just the thing to think about if we get impatient and discouraged!

So...get Grayson, and "Swimming to Antarctica" by Lynne Cox! You won't regret it!

And Grayson in particular makes a lovely gift for just about any age group.

I still haven't flown to Colorado due to an ongoing migaine! Whew! I want to get this thing over with and go see my friends in Colorado! But I, too, must be patient!


PS: Here are some links of owl behaviors:

BarnOwlVideos – properly placed barn owl boxes in Suffolk County

Barn owl swallowing a mouse whole:

Hunting great grey (?) catches mouse under snow:

Rehabbers handling/feeding baby barn owl:

baby barn owl hiss/scream (fear):

baby owls branching (not barnies):

properly set up owlbox w/ branching owlets:

A branching owl, sitting on branch:

short clip of branching owl hopping to another branch:

Barn owl flying to music:

Barred Owl vocals:


Ter-o-fla said...

Stacey, sorry you are suffering from a migraine! I can sympathise, as I have one, too- but not continual, just on and off. :(

However, thank you for the links! I was especially intrigued by the video of the people feeding an orphaned baby owl. I did not realise how difficult it can be to actually get food into the baby! What a chore! How patient the people must be, and how careful!!

Stacey O'Brien said...

That's why it's so much easier if a wildlife center has an unreleasable owl feeding the babies! Barn owl fathers are exceptionally adept at this, so if baby barn owls come in, instead of having to do this grueling routinie for every owlet, they just put the owlets in one big nest box and put a huge pile of mice a few feet away. The adult male owl takes over from there, "adopting" all the owlets, even if there are 20 or more! He ferries the mice from the pile to the box, feeding all the owlets until no one is begging anymore.

It's a real joy to watch this! The babies benefit by never associating humans w/ food, and by knowing that they are owls. The main goal human rehabbers have, other than the physical wellbeing and ability to hunt, is for the owl to be WILD and not habituated to humans! Hence the curtains on cages and using voices almost at a whisper or every circumstance that requires talking.

They sure don't want owls coming down from the wild to beg for food from humans! That would result in them getting shot, handled inappropriately, or attacked by cats and dogs owned by the person they've approached. whew! A big job.

You can see why a foster owl dad is such a huge advantage!

Stacey O'Brien said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HeyNicePlanet said...

Observing owl behavior - here is a link from the Netherlands Beleef de Lente "Experience the Spring" 2010 site. It is the Eagle Owl Owlets (I think - that is the translation of Google Translate). If you use Google's Chrome browser, it will offer to translate - not perfect but helpful. They are hopping and flapping - very cute, just 1.5 minutes.

Lynn said...

I did not know that father barn owls would take over feeding orphaned babies like that. It makes me love them even more. Thanks for everything you write and share with us. It always cheers me up when I see a new post from you. You brighten my day. And I just have to know, why do you have 26 hamsters!!

HeyNicePlanet said...

Another link: This Youtuber - LNcello - has an amazing number of Barn Owl clips - plus clips of other birds such as Kestrals.

Victoria B said...

Stacey: So sorry you are dealint with a migraine. Hope you have someone helping you. Sending you positive energy and letting you know I'm not dropping the torch.