Our beautiful Tasmanian Masked Owl (Tyto novaehollandiae castenops) was once described by John Gould (biologist) as ‘…a species distinguished from all other members of its genus by its great size and powerful form.
Probably, few of the Raptorial birds, with the exception of the Eagles, are more formidable or more sanguinary (causing much bloodshed) in disposition.’
After this beauty flew up to the tree tops, I packed up and walked back down to the house to close windows, feed the dog and cat, stoke the woodheater…and go collect more wood in a barrow. It was dark. I had a torch.
Whilst at the woodpile I heard our chooks cry out. I had not yet closed their door for the night. Rushing in…there she was…looking perplexed…on the floor of the chook house…what’s all the noise about…I’m just after my chicken dinner!
I walked in between the terrified chickens and the owl…shining my torch on the ground so she could still see.
Slowly we turned around and together we left the chook house…both walking in a nonchalant manner.
She then flew up to the fence. I stood next to her…about a rulers length away. We had a quiet moment. I told her it’s not OK to eat the chooks. She let me pat her briefly.