Animals, Random Rambles, Urban Walking
Comments 4

An Owl in Daylight

Howdy folks, I wanted to tell you about something extremely cool I just saw on my morning walk (cut both my feet in separate barefoot escapades in the last few days, so it was a slow five miles).

Approaching Sandgate on the cycle/walking path today, there’s a commotion overhead and I look up to see a crow pursued by a bunch of (aptly named) noisy miners — these highly social and very rowdy little birds that network constantly to expel intruders. The crow is making its pissed-off GRAWWWK, GRAWWWK but is otherwise unfazed — because it is focused on its pursuit of an owl, a white owl, flapping determinedly towards the presumed safety of a clump of eucalypts.

It’s the most incredible sight. I’ve never even seen an owl at night in suburban Brisbane — there are frogmouths, but they’re technically nightjars. And this one is white, and flapping overhead in broad daylight. I start thinking I must have been seeing things. My camera is in my hand but there was no time to squeeze off a shot. A bit later a quick check on the iPhone reveals that we do indeed have masked owls here in Brisbane — with white bellies and faces:

Benjamint444, Wikipedia Commons

An incredibly lucky sighting — let’s hope the owl had the same luck. Presumably that bully crow had flushed it out of its treetop hollow.

And then I start thinking that maybe an owl sighting in the daylight could be a terrible omen. A useful site tells me that in Scotland, anyway, this would be very bad luck indeed. I don’t know, though — I feel pretty fortunate.

~ And that’s all the Goat wrote



  1. Andrew says

    I beiieve the barn owl is found on all continents except Antanctica.
    Surprised that one could be fazed by a single crow – I know that flocks of crows will drive away hawks.
    I don’t care what the folklorists say, I reckon you were pretty lucky too.

    • Funny, Andrew, after it happened I was asking myself the same thing: “Was there only one crow?!” It happened so fast, but I think the crow was flying solo — with a noisy miner escort.

  2. It’s funny, but I was just having a conversation with someone overseas today about their snowy owl which they see often in the daytime (since it comes from lands which have the midnight sun). I was lamenting that I’ve never seen an owl in the daylight, apart from a dead one caught on a barbed wire fence. As you say, we do have frogmouths but they are not really owls. I’ve caught glimpses of the silhouettes at night but that’s it. I would have loved to seen this one you saw. You must have been frustrated that you couldn’t get a pic. Owl are gorgeous. I realize this is a very old post but it was suggested as a related one and since I like owls I had to have a look! 🙂

    • Yeah, I don’t know how these suggested posts work, but it’s kinda fun (though I suspect it’s totally random). I actually saw an owl in daylight another time later while bush-bashing my way across the middle of Moreton Island and one got the fright of its life and took off from the tree above me. I love them as well, they’re perfect.

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