Great Horned Owl Steals Hobby Horse, Becomes Voice of a Generation
If you’re looking for a Halloween mascot, life coach, role model, or all-around hero, look no further—this juvenile great horned owl in Illinois is the inspiration we all need in our lives.
Last week, Facebook user Eric Lind posted a video of the owl flying around his neighborhood with some poor soul’s hobby horse (you know, those sticks with a horse’s head on one end). Eric explains that the owl doesn’t seem to be tangled in the hobby horse’s straps, or in any kind of distress. It seems to have just seen the toy and said, “Mine.”
Lind goes on to explain that the owl was born about six months ago in a local nest. There’s no word yet on whose hobby horse the owl stole.
Why would an owl steal a child’s toy?
What exactly is the owl doing with that horse? I spoke to Nurit Katz, Outreach Coordinator for the Friends of Griffith Park L.A Raptor Study in Los Angeles, CA, and she explained that while it’s hard to say for sure what this particular bird’s motivation is, she’s seen this behavior among young raptors before. “Juvenile raptors will often play with objects to practice hunting,” Katz said. “For example, we’ve seen cooper’s hawks practice by dropping pine cones and catching them. We once saw a hawk plucking a towel as if it were removing feathers from a bird.”
Although it’s not clear whether this owl was playing or genuinely thought it had caught something, Katz pointed out that the head of the hobby horse does resemble something an owl might eat. “The fuzzy head,” she said, “is similar in size and texture to a rabbit or another animal that would be prey for a great horned owl.”
While we may never know this owl’s exact motivations, the video has an important life lesson for us all. If you see something you want? Take it. Take that sucker. Steal from children! Sit in a tree and lord it over them! You work hard, so you’ve earned it!
(featured image: Nicky Pe on Pexels)
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