In mid-October 2017, residents of certain places (central part of the city of Banja Luka) in Bosnia and Herzegovina had the chance to see a rare and small species of owl. It was the so-called Ural or long-tailed owl (Strix uralensis). It is the second largest owl that lives on the territory of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The owl seen was a young bird. Such young owls chase older owls from their territories. They are approaching urban settlements in search of food. The Society for Research and Protection of Biodiversity from Banja Luka then sent an appeal to the population not to catch or disturb the owl (because it could feel threatened and hurt people). The Society then pointed out that this species of owl is protected by law. They then asked the population if they see an injured individual to immediately notify the Society for Research and Protection of Biodiversity.
The Ural owl nests in mountainous and mountainous forests. The large species grows up to 50-60 centimeters in length. The wingspan reaches up to 130 centimeters. Older birds are very aggressive during the rearing of young birds. They feed mainly on rodents (down, voles, mice, rats). Animals are very useful because of their diet. “
Otherwise, the appearance of this bird species (Ural or long-tailed owl) can very rarely be seen in urban areas. The city of Banja Luka has as many as 85 species of birds (inhabited by terns, magpies, woodpeckers, thrushes, crows, wild ducks, gray herons, etc.), and over the city can often be seen the flight of some very large species of birds of prey, such as click eagles which is the top in Bosnia and Herzegovina in terms of bird diversity. The reason for such a large number is that the wider territory of the city has preserved green areas, tree lines, Mladen Stojanović Park, student campus, etc. It is surrounded by forests on Šehitluci, Šibovi, Trapisti. The area along the Vrbas River is also a large bird habitat.
Ornithologists or experts who study birds say that there are many Ural owls in the preserved, old forests on the mountains Kozara, Grmec and the surrounding mountains. It is not typical to see this species of owl in urban areas. An interesting thing about this species is that old individuals chase younger ones. Young owls are inexperienced. They are attracted to rodents, of which there are many in urban areas. That is probably the main reason why the owl came to the city. Therefore, there should be an intervention team, service or city service in charge of similar cases in all urban areas. Such a service would react for the protection of wild animals and the safety of the population. The appeal is that in these cases, people do not take any action, but call the Institute for Nature Protection or an expert. An expert can assess / determine the animal species. It is extremely important to preserve the quality habitats of these animals, say ornithologists.
Different species of birds require different habitats. In urban areas, it is important to maintain habitat diversity. Aquatic (river and wetland habitats), habitats on houses, buildings and solid structures (preservation of animal colonies in some settlements), walls of fortresses, alleys, parks, orchards, etc. A special problem are trends with glass facades (which can be fatal for birds). ).
It is also useful to have some kind of institution that would react in case of the appearance of wild animals in urban settlements. Such an institution would care for stray animals, systematically record the occurrence of birds and continue to monitor further bird occurrences in urban areas. However, many (specifically) birds are saved thanks to the attention and work of volunteers / representatives of individual associations (for example, the Society for the Protection and Research of Biodiversity).
THE MEANING OF THE OWL Animal wisdom
In early Indian civilizations, owls symbolized power and help, and had the powers of prophecy.
In ancient Greece, the owl was a symbol of good luck, and was associated with Athena, the goddess of wisdom. Athena was so impressed with the big eyes and the majesty of the owl that she became her favorite bird. This owl was protected and inhabited within the acropolis in large numbers. The magical “inner light” was believed to give the owl night vision. As a symbol of Athena, the owl was the protector and companion of the Greek army in wars. Seeing an owl was believed to foretell victory.
Some Indian tribes believed that owls were the souls of the recently deceased and therefore must be respected. Some, on the other hand, saw in the owl the incarnation of their gods.
Many give owls magical powers. The Arabs believe that the female owl lays two eggs; one egg has the power of hair loss. the second egg has the power to repair and grow again. In Algeria, they believe that if an owl’s right eye is placed in the hand of a sleeping woman, she will say everything you want to know.
In Wales, they believed that an owl’s howl among the houses meant that one unmarried girl had lost her virginity. They also believed that a newborn child would be blessed if a pregnant woman heard an owl’s roar.
Babylonians wore owl-shaped amulets to protect them during pregnancy. In France, it was believed that an owl could help spinsters find a husband.
Poles believed that girls who die unmarried become turtledoves, and married ones turn into owls. It was also believed that owls did not come out during the day because their beauty would arouse the envy of other birds.