“Can you imagine how my heart was beating..’
With the personal account of discovering the Omani Owl, impressions of Ural Owl, Omani Owl, Tawny Owl, Cucumiau, Barn Owls and Cyprus Scops Owls, Magnus talks about so many discoveries as he explores ‘Owls’. As well as some far-flung taxa, he homes right in on familiar and common species like Tawny and Barn Owls, where, especially in the case of the latter there are, remarkably, key things we still don’t know. So someone needs to get out and keep discovering! There’s information but also an invitation.
“Owls are a joy to record, it’s an indulgent pleasure”
Here’s the interview:
Snippest from the Interview
“Let me just say something which I find really striking… as you say one of the commonest species and yet…“
Magnus explains how, despite much literature he could not get to the bottom of the Barn Owl sounds he was hearing. He had to establish a vocabulary to explain it. Having recorded a few Barn Owl calls at Flamborough- it got me animated and annoyed! Another fascinating subject to explore, things still to discover. Where will I find the time?!
“I love Tawny Owls- they’re so wild”
“I always start-up with something that I have heard”
Cucumiau and Little Owls
OK what’s with using this weird name for one of the ‘Little Owl’ group? Listen to the interview. It’s brilliant!. The ecology of the this particular Little Owl – Cucumiau has already been worked out and described by local people in multiple countries. I don’t think you’ll be able to argue against the name once you hear the explanation. Seriously!
Ooo and there is a little bit of gossip in the process of finding sites with owls…
“He discovered it (the site) because he had been there with a series of girlfriends”
Cyprus Scops Owl
Cyprus. A popular tourist destination. Must have been lots of birder chillin’ of an evening. How many noticed the odd calls of the local Scops Owls and the peculiar duetting of pairs. It sounds unlike Scops Owls elsewhere. There seems to be isolating mechanisms. They really function as separate species. All in the interview…
“It was bugging me, it was bugging all of us and I had to get to the bottom of it…”
Hear Magnus describe the moment when he knew he had found something.. a completely unknown and undiscovered Owl. It sounded like a kind of strix owl because of the rhythm, but with no sightings and no more sounds. What the heck was it? What did it look like? What were they supposed to do?
Arnoud returned and got some recordings and amazing images. Magnus again describes the moment the email arrives in his in-tray.
“Can you imagine how my heart was beating when … the email ‘cos it sounded more like a Ural Owl…”
Then there’s the Owl on the balcony in Iran…
**** Naming the New Owls ****
So what are they and what do we call them?
Omani Owl Strix butleri
The new species (re) discovered by Magnus Robb as described in the interview.
Desert Owl Strix hadorami
(same thing we called Hume’s Owl that folks go and see, usually on a trip to Israel.)
There is a suggestion for the name being “Desert Tawny Owl” but you would probably then have to change our temperate Tawny Owl to something like “Forest Tawny Owl”. So please lets keep it simple:
“…nobody wants to change Tawny Owl to Forest Tawny Owl”
Did you miss it?
Here’s the interview:
You can get more information about the book, what’s in it and buying it from the The Sound Approach.