Ever since I was but a wee kinderling crawling on my parents kitchen floor, subsisting on stray Cheerios, toast crusts and tea finings, I have, simply put, been enamored of owls. And I've just realized, wow, I've never posted anything on owls, my favourite avian friends, on the blog. Spurred on by recent posts about posts...about...posts?, I have decided that it would only be proper to cast a shining ray of God's gentle sun upon a very subjective list of the best owls. Now, keep in mind, this is not a compilation of Strigiformes (oops - don't let me leave you in the dark - that is the Latin name for owls. So, next time you see a Latino or a Latina, say "Como esta, Strigiforme", which literally means "good morrow, owl", "owl" being the Latino(a) equivalent of the popular African American term "dog"), but only the ones that make me smile when I view them in the pages of Canadian Geographic, and similar magazines about the nature.
So, without further ado, I give you my list:
#5 - Elf Owl
This little fella is the smallest owl ever. Which automatically makes it the cutest, and by extension, the strangest. Poet and naturalist "How did it get so small?" you're probably asking yourself right now. Well, I don;t know, but it probably is either a species that is a baby and then dies before it gets too large. And who can't love a dead baby? I think this might even be the only owl to ever have flown from Mexico to Point Pele National Park, but I'm really just guessing.
#4 - Saw Whet Owl
I don't know anything about this owl, but one time when I was a younger human, I spied one in the tree in front of our house. But it was night and it could have been a paper bag blown there by the wind. Nevertheless, I feel a great connection to this special owl, and if I were to choose one owl to represent me in the House of Parliament, this would probably be it - not because it's the smartest, or even looks smart, but because it's really small (I think?) and could easily sneak into the other parties clubhouses and spy on them for me and tell me great stories like what (if any) kind of moustache wax Jack Layton uses, and what, oh WHAT, is under Steve's sweaters. Then we would laugh and share pancakes. I would not want to know things like whether or not Elizabeth May shaves down there, and whether Gilles speaks English or French when making the love. I would certainly not want to use the Elf Owl for reconnaissance missions, as it would very likely get lost because of the smallness. The Saw Whet is almost my favourite owl, but not quite. So it's no. 4.
#3 - Barn Owl
Everyone loves a barn owl, mostly because of it's easily recognizable facial disc, an interesting feature that all owls have. But the barn owl is the only one where the facial disc is truly prominent. They also resemble mind bong. I like the facial disc, because it is truly the only feature that differentiates owls from humans, and, ostensibly, apes. I wish I could give you more information about the Barn Owl, but it lives an a freakin' barn?!?!?! How amaaaaaaaazing is that? Well, it's AMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAZZZZZZZINNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGG! David Suzuki told me in a dream I had about the show "The Nature of Things" that all Barn Owls can be linked to the same barn in Rome, and that contrary to popular belief, Barn Owls are the only creatures that can actually survive in a barn. Horses die every night, and they have to buy new ones every morning from the factory. Basically, the Barn Owl is a SURVIVOR. Oh, and facial disc.
#2 - Great Grey Owl
Ooohhhhhhh, I tricked you, I bet. I bet you thought that was going to be no. 1, didn't you. No, it's not no. 1 for two reasons: because it's far too omnipresent in the public's mind. This almost made me pick it as no. 1, just for the pity factor - because no one's ever going to make it no. 1. But that still doesn't make me make it no.1 Pity doesn't cut it any more. A fun fact about the Great Grey Owl - the famous Canadian conservationist Grey Owl took his name from the Great Grey Owl. Neat! This owl is the one that Merlin kept as a pet (or maybe it was a Great Horned Owl, I can't remember right now), but either way, some magicians probably have Great Grey Owls as pets, or familiars. So that's cool. Another fun fact is that when the sky is overcast, the Great Grey Owl is completely invisible. I love that. They eat mice, which is sad, but I guess since witches eat Great Grey Owls, it's only fair. Anyway, Great Grey Owl, no. 2, just like Commander William T. Riker. The Great Grey Owl looks very wise. They sometimes wear those caps you get when you graduate from school or something.
#1 - Screech Owl
Here's a cool mind-melter you can play at the next party you're at: ask the guests this "What do Dustin Diamond's character on Saved by the Bell, a popular Newfoundland rum, Lupe Fiasco's album The Cool and the greatest owl all have in common?" No one will know the answer, though many will think they do. After many unsucessful attempts are made at a guess, you shout "Nothing!!!!" Hahaha, that has worked everytime for me (re: getting hated by people). If on the off-chance someone does guess "nothing", you should quickly unzip your fly and produce your now semi-rigid penis and make direct, unwavering eye-contact at whoever guessed the answer, all the while repeating aloud, "You've won the prize". Anyway, the one thing that doesn't belong in the list (if you are asked by the police to explain yourself) is Lupe Fiasco's The Cool. The others, of course, are all connected by the word "Screech". My favourite owl. The big one. They are kind of diminutive, in size, but that only works in it's favour. You may have noticed that three of my best owls are coincidentally quite small. This is no coincidence. As the poet once said, size only matters in owls and horseshoes.
Some other notable exclusions from the list:
Snowy Owl - got the cover of a Glen Loates (the poor man's Robert Bateman) illustrated volume of owls I had when I was younger. Though slim, this text provided much of the work that I would later plagiarize to create my award-winning Grade 5 speech, aptly entitled "Owls".
Great Horned Owl - Excluded simply because it looks like the devil, and everytime one is born (or "fledged"), God weeps a single tear.
Burrowing Owl - Ever since I didn't see the movie Hoot, I have been fascinated by this owl, the only diurnal one. It stands on what look like chicken feet and it looks very cross all the time, even when it's a nice day, or after it ate a good mouse. One of the more intriguing brands of owl.
Laughing Owl - I love them, but they're extinct, so that automatically excludes them, because they're not SURVIVORS. If you ask you're grandparents they might know about them, but they have not been around since cameras were invented by Kodak, so there isn't a picture, just this idea that someone once had that this is what they might have looked like. This is an ARTWORK:
Well, that's about all I have for you for now. Check back next week when I'll actually have all the owls I've rated rate my post and give comments as to whether or not they think my assessment of them is fair (possibly two posts). Also, a review of Farley Mowat's literary masterpiece about two of my favourite owls, Wol and Weeps, Owls in the Family.