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Owl Afternoon


"Fieldnotes," February 9th & 10th, 2014: "Owl Afternoon," by Caroline Kurtz.

"'If he bites you, blow in his face. If he scratches you, just deal with it until I can get back to you.'" With such pithy advice from wildlife biologist and owl expert Denver Holt I'm left on my knees carefully, gingerly holding the legs of a young male long-eared owl - the first time I've ever been this close to a wild animal. I am transfixed by the intensity of his large yellow eyes set in a round face. His thick, curved beak clacks and hisses at me whenever I try to shift my weight on my heels. He follows my every move, pinning me with his sharp gaze."