Sunday, June 22, 2008

It's 3:00pm Sunday afternoon and about 10 minutes ago I was reading news online. No, was news. Anyway, I heard a little tapping near the fireplace screen, looked over and sure enough-our little owl friend was looking at me.
I think that it's interesting that now this little guy knows exactly how to navigate its way out from behind the screen and straight to his favorite spot, the curtain rod. I think that we're becoming part of this little bugger's routine. I didn't scream this time. In fact, I just turned and looked at it and said, "hello! you're back?" I calmly walked toward it and he flew away toward a window and actually bumped into it. After taking a moment to regain its strength it flew over my head and into the kitchen. I opened the balcony doors and then Gigi started to bark. Alexandra just giggled and pointed. After another minute or so, he flew out the doors that I had opened for him.

I think that I'm starting to like this little guy. He looked directly into my eyes and was actually really, really cute. I mean...really cute. He's about the size of a small pineapple...I could squish him with a hug, if that were possible. I didn't take a picture today because I think that might have freaked him out.
These experiences have been extremely helpful for us because the kids aren't afraid of them anymore. Foti is thrilled because Harry Potter has an owl and he just loves Harry.
We decided not to close the flue since this little guy can't get back up the chimney. We don't need to have a trapped owl in there, that could be quite a mess. So, what are our options? Do we just accept his little pop-in visits and let him out? What would happen if we left for a few days and it came in? I suppose that until we put a screen over the opening of the chimney, we'll just have to be mindful of our little friend. I just love that it's a baby. I'm wondering if there's anyway that I could give it a treat or have it come closer to me. I'll definitely have to do a little research to learn more about him. Let's see how long it will take before he visits again.


  1. You can name him Hedwig! I guess if you go away you should have a neighbor or someone come check. I just hate when birds get trapped in houses and die of starvation and fear.

    Maybe your little owl is just looking for some friends - and humans will do just fine!

    As far as giving him a treat - it would have to be an insect or mouse or something. From that standpoint it might be good to have him in the house.

    By the way, yes, we should definitely try to get together before summer is over!

  2. A few things:
    I doubt your bird is a baby. Most birds are fullish sized before they leave the nest. There were some small brown owls on Crete about the size you describe.

    They're pretty smart, but he's a predator - sharp beak and talons made for hunting live prey. It's possible to befriend such a bird, but not without caution. Plus, he's wild. One must not fear, but must respect a wild animal's nature.

    Lastly, maybe it would be good to cover the chimney because he could hurt himself in the chimney. God only knows why he's going in there.

  3. I think you've got a Little Owl. They're small and they're diurnal.

  4. Do you remember "the nightbird" post from my site about 2 months ago, when Spyros detailed the different owls of Greece? It's a Little Owl (Athenae noctua), the same owl on the 1-euro coin favored by goddess Athens. He says it's useful to catching small rodents.

  5. Mel, LOL! I'll make the suggestion and see what Foti thinks...about naming the owl Hedwig. I think that I'd prefer him out to the house though. He leaves droppings and he's got those enormous talons and they are intimidating when he's in flight. We have to screen the chimney. How and when are the's pretty high. I'll be in touch soon, we have a friend from home visiting this week.

    Syd, thanks for all of the info. I can tell this guy is smart just by the way he moves around now. I know, I probably couldn't befriend the little guy, but it'd be neat if we could interact somehow. Gigi always brings me the owl know the remains of dead rodents. Actually, she's not doing it as much now because I've cut down her outside time. It's gross. It's the owl or the cat out here that's leaving things behind.
    I have to say that this little guy is intimidating when it flies over us. We'll put a screen on the chimney as soon as we can but it's really, really high so I guess that's why it hadn't been done at all. My husband's uncle thinks that there's a nest in the chimney and that the owl falls out. I'm not sure but the previous owner says that this is a regular occurance. We totally respect this little owl and hope that we can continue to live in harmony, that is, unless he keeps coming in and pooping in the house! Have a great week.

    Kat, Thanks for having Spyros take a look. I can't wait to read more about the owl. I'll be in touch!

    To all-Thanks again for all of your help identifying the owl! The kids will be thrilled to know more .
    about it

  6. Your little friend wants food and attention. You may therefore arrange something for him in the back yard.

  7. defnitely get rid of it before you start using the fireplace!

  8. Maria is giving you good advice!! That's a really remarkable story - tho I'm a vote for covering the chimney ASAP. Good luck!!

  9. Philip-I know, it must love to visit us indoors because, as you can imagine, with 3 kids and a dog life can be pretty exciting in here!

    Maria-You're right! I've got an open mind and do try almost anything-but roasted owl just doesn't sound appealing!

    Laurie-I know-we don't need a roasted owl. Covering the chimney may take a while because it's really, really high. We need more than a ladder, that's probably why the old fart that previously owned the home hadn't done it. The chimney leading out from the furnace is screened though. ? Go figure.