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Eagle Owl in Inverness City Centre

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Old Wednesday 14th December 2005, 16:38   #1
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Eagle Owl in Inverness City Centre

Although this looks like being a captive bird, because the topic is hot at the moment, I thought I would post it up.

I didnt want to hijack the Eagle owl in Yorkshire thread with it though.

http://www.thisisnorthscotland.co.uk...folderPk=85696

Imagine seeing a loose Eagle Owl while out doing your Christmas shopping.
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Old Wednesday 14th December 2005, 17:47   #2
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That's great Kaz - but some pics would be good!!

Deborah
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Old Wednesday 14th December 2005, 18:14   #3
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Originally Posted by deborah4
That's great Kaz - but some pics would be good!!

Deborah
Plenty on Reporting Scotland on BBC. Its sitting in the open in a Monkey Puzzle Tree about 20-30 feet above a pavement!
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Old Wednesday 14th December 2005, 18:46   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Pennington
Its sitting in the open in a Monkey Puzzle Tree about 20-30 feet above a pavement!
That's a sight I'd take as bird of the year!!!
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Old Wednesday 14th December 2005, 18:51   #5
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some pics would be good, any news what will come of this bird? - have they tried catching it yet?
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Old Wednesday 14th December 2005, 18:52   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Pennington
Plenty on Reporting Scotland on BBC. Its sitting in the open in a Monkey Puzzle Tree about 20-30 feet above a pavement!
That could be very messy, have passerbys been issued with an umbrella ?
Seriously though seen it myself on Rep Scot tonight, pity Inverness is 4 hours away or I might have went for a scetch.
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Old Wednesday 14th December 2005, 19:22   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Pennington
Plenty on Reporting Scotland on BBC. Its sitting in the open in a Monkey Puzzle Tree about 20-30 feet above a pavement!

Have just heard they had some good footage on there. Hopefully they might repeat it this evening.

As far as pictures go, I am over 100miles away, but hopefully some wil appear in the press. Or from any birders down that way.
I think I would feel a bit embarassed lugging all the digiscoping gear round the city centre on my own.
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Old Wednesday 14th December 2005, 19:58   #8
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Talking It Must Be A Local

The bird seems to be a local,it has been heard saying "Hoots Mon" to passing tourists..!
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Old Wednesday 14th December 2005, 23:54   #9
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Full story from Press and Journal Website.


A Massive owl with a wingspan of more than 6ft is swooping around Inverness city centre.

The eagle owl, the largest in Europe, has been thrilling crowds after it arrived recently.

One of its favourite haunts is a tree in Gordon Terrace overlooking the River Ness but it has visited other parts of the Highland capital including scaffolding at the new Scottish Natural Heritage building at Craig Dunain and in Ness Walk.

Experts believe it is a captive bird which escaped or was released.

The eagle owl is found in north Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

It is extremely rare in Britain but some have been seen before in the Highlands.

Eagle owls have been blamed in the past for swooping out of the sky and plucking cats and small dogs but yesterday the RSPB stressed that such incidents were made up.

Commenting on the owl being in an Inverness tree, an RSPB Scotland spokesman said: "That does possibly suggest that it is a captive bird that has somehow got out and the fact that people have seen it would suggest that it is reasonably happy to be in the same proximity as human beings.

"There have been claims about cats and dogs but that's probably sensationalist stuff - however, they are obviously a big predator.

"In terms of what they can eat, they are known to eat quite a wide variety of mammals and birds and the RSPB's concerns about them are that they need to be monitored because they are such a large predator.

"We would like to see them monitored more closely since they might be taking scarce birds to eat as part of their diet, something like hen harriers that we're trying to preserve."

The major part of their diet consists of rabbits, voles, rats, mice, foxes and hares but it can take birds of all types including crows, ducks, grouse, seabirds, and even other birds of prey - including other owls. Other prey taken include snakes, lizards, frogs, fish, and crabs.

It is the giant of all the European owls and can grow to be more than 2ft.

The eagle owl's feathers are flecked in shades of brown and black and its mottled appearance gives it camouflage and means it is less likely to be disturbed when roosting during the day. It has two distinct ear tufts but its ears are actually on the side of its face.


Seems the RSPB are pretty keen to stress it won't take cats. Like hell won't it, fox and small deer are listed as regular prey items in the wild. Hunting at night in the centre of Inverness........now what would be the easiest and most abundant mammal????? Looked pretty healthy on the news! Interesting to get hold of a pellet from under the tree........will try tomorrow.

Last edited by jpoyner : Thursday 15th December 2005 at 00:08.
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Old Thursday 15th December 2005, 00:55   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Pennington
Plenty on Reporting Scotland on BBC. Its sitting in the open in a Monkey Puzzle Tree about 20-30 feet above a pavement!
BUT I don't possess a TV! and there doesn't seem to be any with the on-line report. Can someone pleeeese go to Inverness for me and take some!!!!
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Old Thursday 15th December 2005, 06:04   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Nevis
The bird seems to be a local,it has been heard saying "Hoots Mon" to passing tourists..!

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Old Thursday 15th December 2005, 06:09   #12
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Question

Hi Deborah,

I second you, have we any members near Inverness that can please get us some photos?

Ann
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Old Thursday 15th December 2005, 06:13   #13
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Wow! I hope it hangs around for a bit - I'm off to Inverness next weekend.
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Old Thursday 15th December 2005, 08:28   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Nevis
The bird seems to be a local,it has been heard saying "Hoots Mon" to passing tourists..!


".............there's youse loose aboot the hoose!"
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Old Thursday 15th December 2005, 10:50   #15
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Have the RSPB/Government/local falconry centre nabbed it yet?
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Old Thursday 15th December 2005, 10:59   #16
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lets hope someone does before Mrs. McTavish's Tiddles goes AWOL and ruins Christmas
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Old Thursday 15th December 2005, 11:10   #17
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Hi Deborah,

I second you, have we any members near Inverness that can please get us some photos?

Ann
Best I could do........couple of captures from the news item.

JP
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Old Thursday 15th December 2005, 11:19   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpoyner
Best I could do........couple of captures from the news item.

JP
Nape looks very gingery buff with not much heavy dark marking- any views on whether this is a Bengal type or a W European EO?
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Old Thursday 15th December 2005, 12:15   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpoyner
Full story from Press and Journal Website.


A Massive owl with a wingspan of more than 6ft is swooping around Inverness city centre.

The eagle owl, the largest in Europe, has been thrilling crowds after it arrived recently.

One of its favourite haunts is a tree in Gordon Terrace overlooking the River Ness but it has visited other parts of the Highland capital including scaffolding at the new Scottish Natural Heritage building at Craig Dunain and in Ness Walk.

Experts believe it is a captive bird which escaped or was released.

The eagle owl is found in north Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

It is extremely rare in Britain but some have been seen before in the Highlands.

Eagle owls have been blamed in the past for swooping out of the sky and plucking cats and small dogs but yesterday the RSPB stressed that such incidents were made up.

Commenting on the owl being in an Inverness tree, an RSPB Scotland spokesman said: "That does possibly suggest that it is a captive bird that has somehow got out and the fact that people have seen it would suggest that it is reasonably happy to be in the same proximity as human beings.

"There have been claims about cats and dogs but that's probably sensationalist stuff - however, they are obviously a big predator.

"In terms of what they can eat, they are known to eat quite a wide variety of mammals and birds and the RSPB's concerns about them are that they need to be monitored because they are such a large predator.

"We would like to see them monitored more closely since they might be taking scarce birds to eat as part of their diet, something like hen harriers that we're trying to preserve."

The major part of their diet consists of rabbits, voles, rats, mice, foxes and hares but it can take birds of all types including crows, ducks, grouse, seabirds, and even other birds of prey - including other owls. Other prey taken include snakes, lizards, frogs, fish, and crabs.

It is the giant of all the European owls and can grow to be more than 2ft.

The eagle owl's feathers are flecked in shades of brown and black and its mottled appearance gives it camouflage and means it is less likely to be disturbed when roosting during the day. It has two distinct ear tufts but its ears are actually on the side of its face.


Seems the RSPB are pretty keen to stress it won't take cats. Like hell won't it, fox and small deer are listed as regular prey items in the wild. Hunting at night in the centre of Inverness........now what would be the easiest and most abundant mammal????? Looked pretty healthy on the news! Interesting to get hold of a pellet from under the tree........will try tomorrow.

Most abundant mammal in centre of Inverness same as everywhere else - Norway Rat wins by a mile! Notwithstanding, Eagle Owls strike fear in cats - check out Blast From the Past on Surfbirds.

Season's Greetings everybody
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Old Friday 16th December 2005, 18:37   #20
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Four Birds ???

Was told today by a local at the site that there are seemingly FOUR Eagle Owls present, confirmed by photographs taken by "someone from the RSPB"???

No idea if this is true.......none present at 1pm today anyway, but a lot of passers by stopping to stare up in to a lone Monkey Puzzle tree and ask "is he there today".......seems to have become a bit of a "local hero".

JP
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Old Friday 16th December 2005, 19:03   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpoyner
Was told today by a local at the site that there are seemingly FOUR Eagle Owls present, confirmed by photographs taken by "someone from the RSPB"???

No idea if this is true.......none present at 1pm today anyway, but a lot of passers by stopping to stare up in to a lone Monkey Puzzle tree and ask "is he there today".......seems to have become a bit of a "local hero".

JP

Cheers for the update.
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Old Friday 16th December 2005, 19:20   #22
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Thumbs up

Hi JP,

Thanks for the photos, sorry I missed them yesterday. Is it possible there are 4 individuals in Inverness centre? if so send me one please. I think I will email the RSPB to ask if there are 4 birds or were the photos. 4 sightings of the same bird.

I wonder if someone released it/them after the BBC film? On the weather tonight it was forecasting blizzard conditions in the north of Scotland, if they hit Inverness and the bird was a captive one I wonder how it will manage, maybe shelter under the scaffolding?

Thanks again for the photos they look as if you actually took them.

Ann
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Old Friday 16th December 2005, 19:50   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A CHAPLIN
Hi JP,

Thanks for the photos, sorry I missed them yesterday. Is it possible there are 4 individuals in Inverness centre? if so send me one please. I think I will email the RSPB to ask if there are 4 birds or were the photos. 4 sightings of the same bird.



Ann
The guy I spoke to may have just assumed the photograpaher was from the RSPB so not sure if they will be able to offer any more info.
Bit of a mystery really, as is where the bird/s came from.
Apparently the one in the Monkey Puzzle tree is wearing a black ring if that means anything to any ringers.

JP
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Old Friday 16th December 2005, 21:22   #24
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Originally Posted by jpoyner
Apparently the one in the Monkey Puzzle tree is wearing a black ring if that means anything to any ringers.

JP
Almost certinaly means it's an escapee.
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Old Friday 16th December 2005, 22:07   #25
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Found this article which contains interesting references to Eagle Owls in the Highlands.

http://www.owls.org/News/eagle_owl.htm

Exactly what is going on with these birds up here is a bit of a jigsaw. As far as I know there are several Owl breeders in the North of Scotland but I can't believe they are losing all these birds. Possibly unwanted birds are being brought up here for release? Have heard several rumours of breeding birds but it's all a bit vague as to what is going on. There was certainly a bird in Abernethy Forest two winters ago (no idea if it was ringed) and one turned up at Aviemore (maybe same). The article says Roy Dennis was actually ringing young at the Black Isle site....thats a new one on me too.
Is someone deliberately releasing birds? Is someone trying to secretly recapture any offspring too maybe? The Highlands is perfect to do both while avoiding publicity. Who knows....the Eagle Owl mystery deepens!!

John

PS Does anyone know if the North Sea rig sightings in the article were genuine or just mis-id'd Long-Eareds?
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