24 October 2009
Two owls on a stump
Scops-owls on a tree stump. These were photographed in India, but they are widespread in the Old World. Wiki says they are "colored in various brownish hues, sometimes with a lighter underside and/or face, which helps to camouflage them against the bark of trees." I'll say - it took me a long time to decide there were two owls in this photo.
This is a football weekend, so there's no time this morning to look up the origin of the interesting name. Or that of the even-more-curiously-named "flammulated owl."
Photo credit: Chris Johnson, published in The Guardian.
Addendum: "In French, you call them "petits Ducs scops", small scops dukes. Scops comes from the greek word σκοπι : to peer, to scrutinize. And Otus means the one who has ears. Thus the otus scops is the one who has ears and watches everything." Thanks, Mademoiselle.
Second addendum: "The Flammulated Owl was first described by German scientist Johann Jacob Kaup in 1852. The word flammeolus is latin for 'flame' or 'flame-shaped', refering to it's unique colouration" - found at The Owl Pages.