Something is afoot in Anchorage, Alaska, and it involves owls. And probably sorcery and haberdashery. A parliament of owls is sitting near the Anchorage International Airport,* my friends, and our fates may be in their hands! Or, more likely, some nerds who love owls will get excited and talk about it:
What’s even more unusual, birders and biologists say, is that the species — grand, reclusive great gray owls, nocturnal boreal owls, Northern saw-whet owls, Northern hawk and short-eared owls — are almost never found in the same area.
“It is definitely unusual to see smaller owls hanging out with larger owls,” said Sue Guers, a wildlife biologist with the Alaska Bird Observatory in Fairbanks.
Who knew that owls were such size queens? And this isn’t the only instance of owls acting weird; apparently there have been strange owl sightings throughout the winter–snowy owls have been spotted in Oregon, far south of their usual range.
While explaining the parliament is proving difficult, researchers know a few things at least; for instance, owls actually like airports because the landscaping nearby attracts voles, which are reputedly delicious.
Owls, not surprisingly, have a keen sense of hearing; they can hear a vole under a foot of snow, and they can definitely hear when you’re talking shit about your boss. Some researchers are speculating that Anchorage’s snowfall this year might be an explanation for the behavior; according to owl expert and birding guide Bob Dittrick, the depth of the snow could be forcing them to hunt more hours per day due to the difficulty in catching prey.
What remains to be seen is whether the judgment of the owls shall be in our favor; if not, expect an owl rebellion, or at the very least, a bunch of shitty stories written by goths about how owls are elder gods of the earth and they have magical powers and blah blah blah.
*I am fully aware that the airport is now named “Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.” I just don’t give a shit.