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Saturday 14 March 2015

The Avenger (Lorine Niedecker: "A monster owl...")


#ArT By Order #Nature GT #ArTisT New Paradisus ET RiTing @Protect_Wildlife @bestphotonature #EagLeOwL
: image via OrdeRius #OrdeRiusa, 4 February 2015

Rogue owl caught after year-long reign of terror in Dutch town: European eagle owl suspected of more than 50 attacks on humans in Purmerend, Netherlands: AFP via the Guardian, 13 March 2015

A rogue owl that has terrorised a northern Dutch city for the past year, forcing citizens to arm themselves with umbrellas at night, has been caught, officials have announced.

Dubbed the “terror owl” by residents of Purmerend, north of Amsterdam, the aggressive European eagle owl is suspected of more than 50 attacks on humans, swooping silently from above and leaving many of its victims bloody and bruised.

An eagle owl sits under the eaves of a building in Purmerend, Netherlands: photo by Jacob Jorritsma/AP via the Guardian, 13 March 2015

“The animal was trapped by a falconer today,” the Purmerend city council said on Friday evening.

“It’s in good health and is currently being kept in a temporary facility awaiting a transfer once a proper permanent home has been found,” it added.

Look at its evil glare! Wonder who will buy the movie rights. #terrorowl: image via Jantine Zandbergen @thequietcold, 26 February 2015

The large owl is suspected of a spate of mysterious attacks on citizens over the last year, prompting the city to advise evening strollers to arm themselves with umbrellas for protection against aerial assaults.

“The attacks were getting heavier,” the city said, adding: “Many people were afraid to go out of their homes.”

Talons extended, a Eurasian eagle owl goes for the kill at Turbary Woods Owl and Bird of Prey sanctuary near Preston, Lancashire: photo by National Pictures via The Guardian, 27 November 2009

As the owl is a protected animal, the city had to get special permission to trap the creature. Once that was granted, a falconer set out on a bird-hunt.

Owl in The Netherlands is not pleased with you people. #TerrorOwl: image via Uncle Smirk @PastaFace2, 27 February 2014 East Lake-Orient Park, FL

In one of the many assaults, two members of a local athletics club were attacked last month, with one runner requiring stitches for six head wounds caused by the nocturnal bird of prey’s talons.

European eagle owl: photo by Christopher Thomond via The Guardian, 21 July 2014

Owl experts have said the bird’s behaviour was unusual, meaning it was either raised in captivity and associated humans with food, or had heightened hormone levels because of the start of the breeding season.

RT @jimmistorey #eagleowl #animaux: image via Miranda Holmqvist @MirandaHqv. 3 July 2014

The European eagle owl is one of the largest owl species, with a wingspan of up to 1.8 metres (almost six feet) and weighing up to 3kg.

City council member Mario Hegger said he had mixed feelings about the owl’s capture.

 #EagleOwl webcam in western Germany at Eifel: image via Raptor Politics @Raptor Politics, 13 March 2015

“On the one hand, you would of course rather leave such a magnificent beast alone,” he said. “But on the other hand, the situation could not continue. We had to do something.”

Bird of wisdom, bird of prey … an owl: photo by Ian Jeffery via The Guardian, 2 May 2014

Lorine Niedecker: "A monster owl..."

A monster owl

out on the fence

flew away. What

is it the sign

of? The sign of

an owl.

Lorine Niedecker (1903-1970): "A monster owl...", from Collected Works, 2002

Eurasian eagle owl
: photo by Brad Wilson via The Guardian 12 March 2015

An eagle owl fluffs its feathers at the Grugapark in Essen, Germany: photo by Ina Fassbender/Reuters via The Guardian, 28 March 2014

Owl, 'D' Ranch, Point Reyes: photo by Austin Granger, February 2011

File:Owl Shrine.jpg

Owl Shrine at Bohemian Grove encampment near Monte Rio, California
: photo by Arkwilde, 8 May 2004; image by Binksternet, 11 August 2011

nonsense pictures

There was an Old Man with an Owl,
Who continued to bother and howl;
He sat on a rail, and imbibed bitter ale,
Which refreshed that Old Man and his Owl.

Edward Lear (1812-1888): drawing and limerick from A Book of Nonsense, 1846

File:Itálica Owl.jpg

Roman owl mosaic, Itálica, Spain: photo by Kriegerkalle, 6 September 2008

File:Douriscup 83d40m Athene aegisWingedLionessOwl pythonVomitsJason fleeceInTree Vatican.jpg

Athene Winged Lioness Owl with Python Regurgitating Jason: Etrurian red-figured cup, c. 480-470 BC (Vatican Museum)

spotted owlet photo.jpg
Spotted owlets offered for sale at Chowk market near Charminar in Hyderabad: photo by Abrar Ahmed/Traffic India via National Geographic, 4 November 2010

A vendor holds an owl for sale at Jatinegara bird market in Jakarta, Indonesia. Sale of endangered animals is a major problem in Indonesia: photo by Adi Weda/EPA via The Guardian, 5 September 2014


TC said...

Who Killed Brown Owl?

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Beautiful Niedecker (& pix) and the wonderful strangeness of Who Killed Brown Owl? Thanks, Tom. Don

Mose23 said...

In that last photo, the owl cut from its quiddity by trade.

Niedecker spent the better part of her life set against that tyranny. The texture of her work always escapes the cogs of the culture industry.

TC said...

Many thanks, Don and Dunc, and Avenger Owl, and Lorine, and let us not forget the great Edward Lear, for sharing his ale with his barn owl.

A similar if less extensive "case" of marauding eagle owls was reported last year in Salem, Oregon, where robust and undoubtedly innocent, unsuspecting citizens suffered the tragic loss of many a ball cap, and the sobs and moans could be heard as far away as Corvallis.

The Netherlands episode, you've got to admit, has a certain comic aspect. That athletics club, for example -- presumably these are young, fit humans, capable of learning evasive tactics?

The title of the post is of course not meant to indicate that the particularly attentive Dutch eagle owl in Purmurend was conducting a charles bronson style systematic harassment campaign against all humans, as retaliation for owl trafficking in Southeast Asia.


Any thought that the countless thousands of wild animals, including many endangered species, sold in Indonesia, sold and trans-shipped through Malaysia, might become cuddly pets with pleasant lives, would be a delusion.

Most of the animals that pass through these centers of exchange are consumed as culinary delicacies in China.

This article has a small clickable photo that shows what pre-plucked, oven-prepared owlets look like. I chose not to post this, or other photos like it. But just so you know.

Huge haul of dead owls plus other protected wildlife species seized in two raids in Peninsular Malaysia.

A bit from that TRAFFIC article:

On 4 November, the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) staff raided a house in Muar, in the state of Johor, and found in a freezer and storage room 796 Barn, 95 Spotted Wood, 14 Buffy Fish, 8 Barred Eagle and 4 Brown Wood Owls, 2 Crested Serpent Eagles, 51 live Clouded Monitor Lizards, 4 live juvenile Wild Pigs, plus parts of one or more Wild Pig, Malayan Porcupine, Reticulated Python, Malayan Pangolin, Sun Bear and Greater Mouse Deer.

A local man was arrested and remanded in custody for three days, but pleaded not guilty and was released on bail of MYR19,000 (USD5,300).

Information obtained during the raid led to a second raid on a storage facility in Segamat, Johor, on 7 November 2008, when 7,093 live Clouded Monitor Lizards were seized, but no arrests made.

“The number of owls and monitor lizards seized is truly staggering," said Chris R. Shepherd, Senior Programme Officer for TRAFFIC’s Southeast Asia office.

“This is the first time we know of where ‘ready-prepared’ owls have been seized in Malaysia, and it may mark the start of a new trend in wild meat from the region. We will be monitoring developments closely.”

All the animals seized are believed to have originated in Malaysia and were probably bound for China, to be sold in wild meat restaurants.


The very strange, weirdly mesmerizing Brown Owl movie was made by a group called Desperate Optimists, which for a time staged similar small playlets in which all the "actors" were in fact local citizens. This one, with a cast of volunteers from the North London borough of Enfield, was made in a single, elaborately designed and executed, eight and a half minute travelling shot. It's a film I like better than, for example, Birdman, or Boyhood, or American Sniper (that latter perhaps the more useful comparison).

TC said...

And by the by, talking of spooky... that drippy place in the NoCal woods, depicted just above Edward Lear and his barn owl, has been the secret site of owl-themed amerikanski universe-ruling ritualism of a fearful order, for lo these many years now...

Masters of the Universe Go to Camp: Inside the Bohemian Grove (Philip Weiss, Spy Magazine, November 1989)

Again, of course, hardly the fault of the owls. They don't get to pick which sick gang of heavily moneybagged bipeds gets to adopt them as mascots.



is it the sign

of? The sign of

an owl.

-- beautiful post Tom, thanks Lorine, thanks Edward Lear, thanks Bohemian Grove Masters of Universe . . .

TC said...

Thanks, Steve.

Too bad Avenger Owl hasn't yet made it as far as Bohemian Grove, to liven up some of those sultry summer nights among the Masters of the Universe, there by the ritual Sacrifice Pit and all.