Sunday, June 6, 2010

The night stalker

This happened about 3 years ago.
One night (or rather early in the morning around 4.30 am) I heard some movement at our bed room window. First I thought that it must be some pigeon trying to settle down on the window ledge. But the commotion did not die down and I had to get up and put on the light. Imagine my surprise when I drew the curtain aside. There was fully grown Barn Owl staring at me, or rather we both were staring at each other sizing up the situation. Or so I thought.
It flew inside and landed on where ever it could find a perch. My wife scrambled up and ran out of the bedroom. Now it was only me and the owl in the bedroom. I kept the windows open and tried to shoo it away. But that did not work. Then it dawned upon me “why not some photographs before I send him out” So I opened the cupboard slowly and took out the camera and clicked some frames without the flash. (in case our little friend did not like the celebrity status)
Barn Owl giving me the side profile.
Meanwhile he kept hoping from one thing to another (was it posing in different angles?) And finally he settled on my music speaker (the tweeter) which I had kept temporarily on my World Space box. Now this was not acceptable to me. I could imagine the harm those claws could do to my speakers. So I quickly took some more shots (this time with the flash) When I went a little close he spread his wings (maybe that’s the best it could do as a threatening stance) I said good, and took a picture of that too.

The bedroom stalker

Then I continued the task of shooing it away. Slowly I realized that the poor thing could not see well with the bedroom light on. I found that he was going and banging himself straight into the wall. I inferred that the white wall must be appearing as some blank space for him to escape. (the things you learn in the middle of the night) The poor thing was going to hurt itself. How to prevent him from banging against the wall ? I took the bed sheet and threw it over him (remember the Gladiators in Spartacus ?) I was surprised that he did not struggle when I bundled him up and picked him.
Meanwhile the bedroom door opens a crack and my wife pops her head inside “is it gone? Eeeks you are holding it in your hand?

I carried him out on to our terrace and set him free. Now he was on familiar terrain as it was dark out side. He sat on the ledge of the terrace, turned back, gave me one last look and flew away. That last look could be deciphered in many ways, but for me I think he was saying “thank you
Now coming back to grandma tales, I don’t believe in them but this one came visiting one day before we were shifting house. That may be a coincidence, but here comes the funny part. Two years prior to this incident, when we shifted house there was a visitor who was silently sitting on the window grill. (see picture below)
Owl (also on Explorer)

Was it the same guy coming back after 2 years to wish us good luck ?

19 comments:

Atul said...

... i remember similar incident about 5 years back... in Delhi... there was this severe cold wave and we spotted this big owl sitting on this huge pepul tree... our was 3rd floor and this so called 'guest' was sitting there calmly... right outside our window...at arm's length... we tried to take some pics and the flash disturbed him... our whole family was in awe ... for us city dwellers this was a rare sight...

Atul said...

...and as for ur question... maybe yes maybe a coincident... i believe some life forms have complex social behavior and are intelligent in different parameters than we humans can define...

Fresh Local and Best said...

Hmmm... It's kind of a sweet and scary idea that it might be the same bird.

*Harman* said...

..Its an amazing ..thing..all pictures are wonderful..I have never seen an owl like that..its beautiful!

Rachna said...

wow. Amazing! I like the pics of the owl and the story about his rescue into the wild.

Lazy Pineapple said...

lovely photo...even I have encountered a Barn owl at my flat in Pune...a very odd place for it..

I guess he came to give you a visit :)

Neha said...

Rare pictures...I saw one in Iskon last year and that too perched on a tall tree so could not see it properly.

And it might be more than a coincidence. I sort of like to believe in such things...makes life more mysterious and beautiful :)

The Holy Lama said...

Owl meeting wise owl?

Madhu said...

I wanted an owl as a pet but my mom didn't agree (when young). Nice picture.

RamMmm said...

La la lovely pics. You are lucky to see owls close to your place and you had a presence of mind to take pics when it is in your room hopping around. What a lovely pair of eyes! Don't they say colloquially, 'owl eyes'. :)

Christine said...

A friend checking in on a friend. It's good to have wise friends. ;-)

I've loved this post since the first time you posted the pictures!

Shalini said...

Awwww....love this post.
Anything to do with animals and birds make me happy...
The owl looks so cute in the last photo..:)

Anu said...

awesome pics!

radha said...

Lovely picture and amusing account of the incident. I would have like your wife taken shelter. It really posed for your camera!

Anjuli said...

Oh my goodness- what a fascinating memory- and what great sense to go get the camera- I would NOT have had that much thought!! You really caught some great pics....I definitely would have been outside the room keeping your wife company :)

ME said...

Wow...soo lucky to see such a beautiful bird so up close!!

indianhomemaker said...

WOW!!! Beautiful close ups and you were so good not to use flash.... I have rescued owls too, will blog about it, but my pictures are no good (and I used flash and then realised I shouldn't have). These are amazing pictures! And what an encounter!

Teresa Evangeline said...

This is a beautiful encounter and story. I see these happenings as spiritually based. The owl is a messenger and life-affirming on so many levels. And, for you to have an encounter twice...

cheap viagra said...

It was a nice surprise! I think they're beautiful! I'm a expert in this kind of Owls, according with those characteristics its head and upper body typically vary between a light brown and a dark grey (especially on the forehead and back) feathers in most subspecies. 23jj