Although I think the whole species of Owl generally are magnificent creatures, personally the Little Owl really does it for me. From their little statue to their big characters, this is the owl that is something a little different from the run of the mill.
Most Owls are predominantly nocturnal creatures preferring to hunt under the cover of darkness, preferring to hide away in the trunk of a tree during the day having a little snooze. Not so the Little Owl, oh no, not for them hiding under a bushel. Even though it puts them more at risk of predators or being hounded by other larger birds this is no ‘biggie’ for them. They will hunt in the evening taking small mammals, but during the day they have no problem hunting for a snack of insects like beetles or something larger if available
Not only unbelievably cutesy but gutsy as well, now that’s a combination!
Just standing at over 8” tall you can likely spot a little owl in the countryside if you look carefully enough. Possibly spending a leisurely moment sitting on a telegraph wire surveying the world, or carefully hidden in a stone wall if rearing young. Due to their small size and good camouflage they can take a bit of spotting, but wait long enough and you may be rewarded with a couple of yellow beady eyes peeping out at you.
2000 years ago the little owl was a popular symbol on roman coins, sacred to the Goddess Athena. Having a strong mythological symbolism, Athena was Goddess of wisdom and warfare. It was used for so long that this form of currency was known as owls!
It would be nice to think that this special resident was originally a native species to the UK. Unfortunately this is not the case and it was actually introduced here in 1842 by Thomas Powys. It seems to like it here thankfully and has settled well into the counties of England and Wales. According to the RSPB website there are now about 5,700 breeding pairs.
Having done a bit of little owl observing during the summer, it has inspired me to produce a new piece of Artwork .
Here is a little photo diary of my work.
1, After carefully drawing the shape and outline. Here is the papier mache form of the owl made with paper and glue and imprints made for the eyes.
2, This is the magazine pages carefully chosen for colour, then varnished and torn into little ‘feather’ pieces. This is quite a time consuming part of the process!
3, I have started applying the ‘feathers’ trying to replicate the colours of the birds plumage. Using a pair or tweezers to apply each one individually with glue at one end so the other side sticks up a little.
4, Here is the finished bird complete with a set of large owl eyes.
5, Owl feet made with wire, paper, glue and painted to look as realistic as possible.
6, Here is the finished picture. Complete with painted and ‘aged’ frame, wooden standing post, owl detail paper and wooden signage plaque on top. Oh and owl paper detail on the back which you can’t see.
Ta Dah, I think it looks quite good! Even if it has taken quite a while.
Hope you enjoyed my first post, there will be more bird Art to follow and hopefully we will have an etsy shop up and running soon.
Bye for now, Catherine x