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It turns out you can!  But it’s different.

I’ve discovered something interesting about talking to them:  they possess a kind of gravity, as if they were very connected to the earth and some sort of universal energy.  In other words, they’re having a full experience of Owl, Fox, Coyote, Raccoon without the usual interruptions:  living in the past, living in the future, what to fix for dinner and who’s got prettier feathers.

The Great Horned Owl was the most dramatic example, perhaps because we were within 20 feet of her fledglings.   My husband worked in a technology complex, housed in four, four-story buildings surrounding a big grassy courtyard with some pleasant landscaping.   Someone had installed an owl box under the eaves and a pair of owls produced a brood of owlets every year.

It was the weekend and we were the only observers.   We stood under a pine tree and peered up at a fledgling.  My daughter clutched her stuffed owl.  The owlets were so well camouflaged we stood there for 15 minutes before we noticed a second fledgling about 3 feet from the first.

I kept a close eye on the mother, on her fourth-story perch.  I decided to ask her how she felt about us being so close to her baby.

It wasn’t the usual sort of response.   Through binoculars I watched her tilt her head.  There was a sound like the aperture of a camera and a sense of “zooming in”, as though she’d received my question and was directing her focus.  I heard the word, “robot” but not in the way of something cold and mechanical, more a description of an awesome, organic technology, the kind of thing that humanity struggles to replicate.

She considered us.  There was a whirring sound and a click and she fixed on me.   Nothing cute or cuddly about Great Horned Owls–they look so disapproving.   Then I heard it:   She let me know–how?–not a threat.  It wasn’t emotional or friendly, just a quick, smooth calculation and a response.  A sort of Great Horned math problem.

The male?  If he’d been a person I’d have said he was more laid-back.  Still, the two of them were completely silent and fully present and it was just foreign.

The pets I work with are almost always more grounded than their people and they tend to get to the point without an excess of words.  But the Great Horned Owls made my pet clients look downright chatty.

 

 

 

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