Owls attacking humans

To: "b-a" <>
Subject: Owls attacking humans
From: "Syd Curtis" <>
Date: Wed, 14 Jun 2000 22:23:14 +1000

Chris Tzaros wrote:

    "Last but not least, I personally would suggest not playing owl calls just for the     hell of it."  

About 30 years ago Norman Robinson and I visited David Fleay at his Gold Coast sanctuary.  While showing us around David stopped near the Barking Owls' cage and called softly.  One of the Owls responded by calling.  Norman asked me to tape the calls for the CSIRO sound archives.  (I had a Uher with me as we were there to get David's expert opinion on some apparent possum mimicry by Albert Lyrebirds.)

Without thinking, I started to replay the recording to check if it was satisfactory.  Immediately there was a tremendous thump as the owl hit the netting of the cage right beside my head.  It would certainly have caused me 'grievous bodily harm' if it could have got at me.

That was a tame animal used to humans - always likely to be more dangerous than wild creatures, but there must be some danger in playing owl calls near a nest or in an owl's territory.  Chris's advice is wise counsel - whether considered from the birds' or the person's point of view.

Syd Curtis


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