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The Great Horned Owl

The Great Horned Owl image
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Many years ago 1 otwerveü a singular habit oí the owl, a iiotioe of which 1 have never scen published. In the " l'unny column" of'our local ncwspapcr, a paragraph appeared headtd " How to Kill au Owl," the subject of which was: after finding an owl on a post or tree, you wore to have him fix his eyos upon you and thon walk r;i[iilly around him ; closing with the Btauuent that he will keep tria ej intently upon you, turniiitf his head with your movemebta but feFLLtti&g to turn his body, that he will thu.i wring his own head off. Nothing is too absurd for a boy to attempt it it proiuises f'un or novelty ; and shortly al'terward a fine, live specimen of a nearly adult Bubo Vir;inianu.s falling into iny hands, I proceedod to the matter by experiment. I placed Bubo on the top of ope of niy raother's clothesline ] -t s, where he remained motiooless and entirely tinconscious of the attcmpt upon his lif'e. It was not difficult to tacuro his attention, fur he nevor, while I had hita, diverted his raze trom me while I was iu his presence. I begao wtklkiug rapidly uüuud the post, a few i'eet f'roui it, keeping my eyes fixed upon him all the while. His body remained rootionlefs, but his head turned exiictly wWi my movemcnt. Half-way ï'nund, and his face was direotly Inbind, l'liri c-qurt'is of the citcle, and still the same twist of the neck and the stare f'ollow me. One eutire tirele, and uo change. On T went, twioe round, and still that watch'ful .-tare and .sttady turn of the head. I li:id all lliis timu kopt uninterruptnl watch of the bird. Híh talons grasped the top of the post, and lus W3y was perfectly Ftationary. On I went, three times round, and I began really to wonder why the head did nnt drop off, whon all at once I di.'coverod what 1 had failed to notice befare. When I ieached lialf-way round froin the l'ront, which was as far as he could turn liis head to f'ollow wy moveiii. -i. t with cdinfnrt, he whbked his hcad tbroQflh the wlmlecircle so inntantaneou.nly and lirought it fnoing me aain with such preeimebi thal 1 Wied to deWOt the movement, iillhouph 1 was liwking intcntly all t)c time. I repeated the experiment many timos afterward in the sam bird, and I "ad always to watch caref'u'ly to detect the moveinent of' the readjustnirnt of )i aze. So rapid and precise waH this niovement that L fuiled several times to detect it, even when I was looking expressly