barred owlThe Barred owl is beautiful big owl that lives in the woods of North America. They can grow up 63cm,  and have dark rings around large brown eyes. They have a yellow beak, and a mottled grey - brown body. Their underparts are lighter.

They munch on voles, moles, shrews. rats, squirrels, mink, and other animals.  They also are known to consume various birds.  They may sometimes pull fish and other creatures out of water.  They also take advantage of the light from camp fires. These fires can attract all sorts of insects for the barred owl to feast upon.

They are also  known by the Latin Name Strix varia and also known by the folk names triped owl, wood owl, eight hooter and hoot owl

The reason this owl is known as the eight hooter is because their vocalisation has 8 beats to it. They are said to sound as though they are saying,  "Who cooks for you, who cooks for you all."



christmas treesChristmas trees lighten up the darkness of winter, but where did they all begin?

It is thought that at one time people celebrated Adam and Eve day on December 24th. During these celebrations they decorated a tree that was known as the Paradise Tree,  Paradise Trees were decorated with apples and other fruit, then they would act out the story of the Garden of Eden and what caused Adam and Eve to be driven out of it.

Christmas trees also link to St Boniface of Crediton, in legend at least. St Boniface of Crediton travelled from New England to Germany to teach the people there about Jesus Christ.  Then one night the monks came across a group of villagers who were about to sacrifice a young boy to their pagan god Odin. The boy was tied to an oak tree, but St Boniface rescued the boy and chopped the tree. He and his followers then put candles in the branches of an evergreen fir and told the villagers about the Christian God.

It has also been suggested that Martin Luther was the first person to bring a Christmas tree inside. It is said he walked through the woods one night and saw the stars sparkling through branches and was inspired to bring that magic into his home.

Christmas Tree Decorations

When Christmas trees were first used they were decorated with edible items such as gingerbread, apples, and angels you could eat.

It is thought German glass-blowers were the first people to create glass baubles. Other changes to the decorations have also occurred over the years.

Originally Christmas trees were decorated with figures of Jesus and lighted candles. Candles had a bad habit of setting the tree alight, and so electric lights are now used.  Jesus has also been replaced with an angel or star at the top of the tree.

It is suggested that Ralph Morris was inspired to create electric Christmas tree lights after he saw the lights on a switchboard.

Christmas Trees in Britain

Prince Albert is said to be the man who was responsible for Christmas trees gaining popularity in Britain.  He, or course was husband to Queen Victoria.

Prince Albert wrote to his father in 1843;

Today I have two children of my own . . . who . . . are full of happy wonder at the German Christmas tree and its radiant candles.

The Royal tree was said to be amazing to look at. Each branch had a lighted candle, and from the tree hung gingerbread and ribbon

Modern Day Christmas Trees

Modern day trees vary from the traditional real trees which are decorated with tinsels and baubles to artificial trees. which can come ready decorated. There are even novelty trees which are designed to look like Santa or Snowmen.

Most villages, towns and cities in Britain have their own tree, or decorate a  existing tree. Often there is small service before the lightening of the tree where carols are sung and prayers are offered.

santa christmas trees


great grey owlGreat grey owl is a large owl which are, unsurprisingly grey in colour, and they have dark circles around yellow eyes. This is another owl that is very big, and in fact is considered one of the largest species of owls in the world!

They live in North America and use abandoned nests built by other owls or holes in large trees in evergreen forests. Why do the hard work of making a nest when others can do it for you!

They hunt at night and can hear rodents 2 foot under snow. That means they have amazing hearing, which means that to hunt they simple have to sit down and listen. No flying around looking in vain for them.  They then dive into the snow and catch their prey.

They are known by the Latin name Strix nebulosa and by the other names Phantom of the North, cinereous owl, spectral owl, Lapland owl, spruce owl, bearded owl, and sooty owl

Great Grey Owl

Great Gray Owl (Strix nebulosa) Perching on a Tree Stump in Fairbanks Alaska


Image Copyright: Olaf Oliviero Riemer


burrowing owlsBurrowing owls and small owls with long legs and they get their name because they burrow underground. Their long legs help them to run fast.

Their eyes are bright, and they have dark yellow or grey beaks.  They have white eyebrows and a white patch on their chin. They have brown heads and wings.

They can be found in North and South America.

They live in grasslands, rangelands, and deserts. They hunt between dusk and dawn, but are also active during the day, but they avoid the midday heat.

They are known by the Latin name Athene cunicularia. They are also known as Ground Owl, Prairie Dog Owl, Rattlesnake Owl, Howdy Owl, Cuckoo Owl, Tunnel Owl, Gopher Owl, and Hill Owl

The Burrowing Owl's Cozy Home

Wild living burrowing owl family, Brazil


Image Copyright: Dori


Eurasian eagle owlThe Eurasian eagle owl is one of the largest owl, the females can grow up to 75cm, and have a wingspan of 188cm.

They have distinctive ear tufts, the upper parts are mottled black and tawny and the wings are barred. They have orange eyes. They can live up to 20 years old.

They are found in parts of Europe and Asia and they live in mountains, forests, and remote places. They eat small mammals, small birds, reptiles, amphibians,

It is also known as the European eagle owl.

eurasian eagle owl hooting



Image Copyright: Alvesgaspar