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I had a real hoot over eagle owl.

I HAVE been following the story of the escaped eagle owl eagle owl
A large Eurasian owl (Bubo bubo) having brownish plumage and prominent ear tufts.
 with interest. But today's story (September 8) that Charlie the eagle owl had been seen in the garden of the Four Bells pub in St Athan St Athan (Welsh: Sain Tathan) is a village in the Vale of Glamorgan in south east Wales. The English name is a corruption of the Welsh female saint Tathan, described by Iolo Morgannwg as the daughter of the King of Gwent.  had me hooting with laughter.

Despite the photos clearly showing a bird not much bigger than a pigeon, as measured against the gas canister on which it sits and the publican publican [Lat.,=state employee], in ancient Rome, man who was employed by the state government under contract. As early as c.200 B.C. there was a class of men in Rome accustomed to undertaking contracts involving public works and tax collecting; the tax collectors  standing nearby, the text talks about the "huge bird" with a "seven-foot wingspan". This is not an escaped eagle owl, but our native tawny owl. It is unusual for it to be perched so openly in daylight in such a location and I suspect it was unwell in some way.

Or perhaps it had been flushed from its daytime roost by some attacker and had landed in the garden for respite.

Interesting to see, but not an eagle owl.

Paul Seligman Fairways Crescent, Cardiff


The owl photographed in the garden of the Four Bells, St Athan
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Sep 10, 2009
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