Thursday, April 25, 2013

Verreaux's Eagle-Owl - A Proxy for Witches

Verreaux's Eagle-Owl

Another legendary creature, this one lives in the dry savanna and open woodlands of South Africa. The Verreaux's eagle-owl is considered a proxy for witches and sorcerers. The arrival of an eagle-owl at one's homestead is viewed by the superstitious as a bad omen. Many people in the rural communities put spikes on the roofs of their homes to prevent owls from landing on them at night.

In this part of the world, it's a well known fact that if an eagle-owl takes up residence in an urban setting, the local, domestic cat population will become decimated. The Verreaux's is the largest owl in Africa and it's distinguished by noticeable pink eyelids. In a land teeming with formidable predators, this winged giant is absolutely lethal.

Despite it's massive size, the eagle-owl is remarkably agile. It's perfectly capable of taking small birds on the wing and it's been seen wading through water snagging fish. These robust birds of prey don't back down either. A report from East Africa documents a Verreaux's eagle-owl confronting a rhinoceros. The owl apparently puffed up its feathers and threatened the bewildered rhino when it approached too close.

12 comments:

  1. I'm curious: what omens does its appearance portend? Does it appear before deaths, disasters, financial losses..?

    John at The Bathroom Monologues

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    1. Its appearance seems to portend the ultimate bad omen, death.

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  2. At first, I thought this was an imaginary owl monster, but it appears to be a true creature. I wonder if parents in S. Africa threaten their children with being eaten by the eagle-owl if they don't behave?

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    1. Make no mistake, this owl is very real. It's an ultimate predator that doesn't back down from anything. As a parent myself, I know we sometimes have to be creative in the ways we get our children to behave.

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  3. That is a strange looking owl! I can't believe it eats cats, that's a turn around.

    Rinelle Grey

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    1. I think they look kind of harmless but I guess that's deceiving because they are great hunters and cats are a delicacy.

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    Replies
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  5. Poor owl, ok I wouldn't want to leave my baby on the grass if I knew there was one around, but I'm sure it would also protect us from snakes and possibly even a rhinoceros! - personally I prefer a sign that trouble is ahead so Owl is on my welcome list - especially if it can deal with other pesty creatures like rats and mosquitoes :)

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    1. That's a great way to look at it, maybe they're providing a warning and not portending a bad omen.

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    ReplyDelete
    Replies
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