Posted by: atowhee | July 17, 2020


Owls have big eyes that more than match our own binocular visions.  But when sound becomes useful, we are inept, they adept, with both ears off-set in the front of that disc face, always scanning and pin-pointing and sound made by any moving object or critter. When hunting the dark, their specially designed feathers make for silent flight, envied by hawk and goose the world around.

Says nature photographer Martha Ture:  “I shot this at the Kehoe Beach [Pt. Reyes, Marin County] trailhead almost exactly one year ago today.” Great Horned Owl juveniles 2Ms Ture is a professional photographer, you can see her fine work, click here.

This from our Sutro Heights correspondent, Tom Kuhn–a nap in the sun, a wink at the observer: Adult Female 9Ae

From our South Korean correspondent, this note: “The Magpie is the national bird of South Korea ( I’m told they actually held an election to determine that). .. considered a sign of ‘good luck’ here .. there are many of the noisy rascals in our neighborhood and I spotted this one earlier this week.”IMG_6986

Photo and text by Greg DeRego, a skilled and respected co-worker in the long ago world of TV and Internet news, now retired to South Korea which nation actually used brains and science to cope with covid.  Hard to imagine. South Korea reports fewer than 300 deaths altogether from covid, just slightly ahead of Oregon.  But Korea has a much larger, more dense population.

The Oriental magpie (Pica serica) is a species of magpie found from south-eastern Russia and Myanmar to eastern China, Taiwan and northern Indochina. It is also a common symbol of the Korean identity, and has been adopted as the “official bird” of numerous South Korean cities, counties and provinces.  This is close cousin of the European Magpie, Pica pica, as well as our North American species, the widespread Black-billed and California’s endemic Yellow-billed.

There are seven species ow recognized in the Pica genus.  The word is Latin for magpie.  They are not as closely related to the colorful birds commonly named as magpies as well, their DNA says their closest relative is the European crow.


  1. I like Tom Kuhn’s owl, asleep with one eye open. .

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