Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My new Hero

This is Molly...a new Hero of mine.

She is a barn owl who lives in California. I've recently been pretty entertained by her webcam. She and her mate, McGhee, are raising 4 babies and there is a camera in the nest box. Gross, sometimes, but fascinating. The "babies" are getting really big, and there is not much room in the nest nowadays, so I guess they will all fly away one day soon. But it's been fun to watch her sit on the eggs, watch the hatching, and those little bobble-head chicks.

I want owls. One day, if my wish to live way out in the middle of nowhere comes true, I want owl nest boxes. I've looked at websites that have building diagrams. I am convinced that if I build one (or two or three), they will come.
Why is the owl my pet of choice?
Why do I want these great beasts to live near me?
Why are they my new heroes?

In a word....rodents!

Anybody who knows me well will know that I am afraid of mice. Well, "afraid" is a mild word....more like terrified to the point of intense anxiety. I'm not quite sure why, but I have some pretty irrational fears when it comes to furry little rodents.
Back to the owls...now that these four young owls are growing so fast, the parents hunt and bring them around 8 to 10 rodents a DAY!!! Mostly mice and rats. (Okay, just for the record, they also hunt cute little baby rabbits too, but we all know those things can multiply fast enough to keep up the supply!)
So, I know when we move to the country that mice will be an issue, and I was pretty much thinking that cats would be the answer to mouse control....but now that I'm watching the owl webcam, it's got me thinking that cats have to look like slackers next to these owls when it comes to the number of mice they can do away with!

Owls....my new heroes! I think they may get a house out on the farm before I do just so they can clean up the neighborhood before I move in. :)