Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 41.djvu/328

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314
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

tree. From the first hour that he was imprisoned he has shown an irritable temper. His whining as a young bird was incessant by day and not always suspended by night. Now, at the age of nine months, he whines whenever any one approaches him, and frequently makes violent assaults upon me when I enter the part of my cellar in which the owls are penned. Puffy and Fluffy during their first summer were quite timid, and Fluffy is an arrant coward now; but Prince Edward, as the new captive has been named, has never shown fear of anything living or dead, large or small.

Of two fully grown screech-owls which I owned, one in the spring of 1890, the other in the spring of 1891, little is to be said.

PSM V41 D328 Five different types of owls.jpg
 
Great-horned. Prince Edward. Puffy. Snowdon. Fluffy.

They were unhappy, and, although they ate well, both died from the effects of pounding their heads against wire netting in efforts to escape. These owls, when approached, stiffen their ears, make their feathers lie closely against their bodies, keep every joint and muscle rigid, and so nearly close their eyes that only an expressionless slit remains through which they watch the intruder. To the gentle caress of a hand they pay no heed. I have often taken one of them in my hand, laid him upon his back, and so carried him from room to room, and not been able to detect the movement of a feather. Let, however, the intruder retire, or let him take a dead mouse from his pocket and draw it by a string across the