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Old Friday 17th January 2003, 08:42   #1
ralph
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Winged Avengers

From Notimex (La Agencia Mexicana de Notícias)

"Crop-dusting aircraft in the Pozarevac region of north-eastern Serbia - specifically round the town of Veliki Popovac in the Mlava River valley - have been attacked by enormous owls during daylight hours. The birds have expelled swallows from the region, regarded by farmers as a bad omen. The local people believe that anyone who kills a swallow will be punished with the death of their mother, daughter, or a close relative. The arrival of the owls is seen as punishment for the neglect of abandoned and overgrown churches.

According to the Glas newspaper, the owls are also attacking cattle in the afternoon, prompting farmers to bring their herds in before sundown. A local vet speculated that the owls' aggression is caused by the destruction of the ozone layer leading to an increase in solar radiation; others blame fine dust blown in from radioactive mineral heaps in Romania. Radiation from this dust, they suggest, has caused genetic changes in the owl population, making them perceive aircraft as prey to be attacked."

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Old Friday 17th January 2003, 19:56   #2
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Apparently, some 'vicious' owls have escaped in Scotland, too - they are said to attack if they feel threatened, not at all like the self-effacing human race.

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Old Saturday 18th January 2003, 16:59   #3
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I also see that 'Mr Whoo', the European Eagle Owl that escaped from captivity in Mumbles, Swansea, has been recaptured. They feared that he wouldn't survive in the wild, although he appears to have done very nicely, thank you, at the expense of the local squirrel and small bird population!

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Old Saturday 18th January 2003, 17:04   #4
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What`s that about Ralph, didn`t know about it, did he escape from a private collection? Was he still in the Mumbles area, or had he ventured further afield? Only on another forum I visit, someone was asking about bird id around Johnstown area, and all the details sounded like a golden eagle - just wondering ...?
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Old Sunday 19th January 2003, 07:58   #5
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Johnstown? Blimey! I'll be keeping my eyes open next time I go through there!

I'm quite sure Mr Whoo escaped from a private collection, Songbird. I was idly flicking through teletext the other day and the story appeared before me. I only read it the once, but didn't take an awful lot of notice of it. If I come across it anywhere else, I will let you know where he came from.
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