The Wise and Stealthy Great Horned Owl: Help Them Survive

The Great Horned Owl, one of the most recognizable true owl species, is also known as the tiger owl. Apparently, our early naturalists used to call it the “tiger in the air” due to its hunting prowess, unique mottled markings, quiet but deadly nature, speed, and agility.

Unfortunately, it is also an endangered species, just like its feline namesake. Conserving such a species need increased social awareness and scientific know-how. These were the first reasons why I decided to start my next mural on the Great Horned Owl. The mural is now complete; I used mostly light and harsh blue tones to bring out the contrasting characteristics of this weaponized bird.

Location of the mural:

The mural has been designed to look like a bird of prey in motion. It is located at Teatown, and environmental stewardship pioneer that is spread over 1000 acres and is dedicated to preserving and conserving nature. I regard it as a continuation of the “Animalize” range, which I have used to draw people’s attention towards other critically endangered species.

Over the years, I have realized that people react better to murals because it tends to be larger-than-life. The Teatown mural will hopefully make more people aware of the Great Horned Owl.

Why Teatown?
Teatown is home to some of the most significant conservation efforts. It attracts a significant number of people, including students and families. It is located in the Lower Hudson Valley, making it accessible to many city folk. Given that this owl is mostly an urban dweller, I believe it aids in the overall mission- protecting their dwindling numbers.

What is being done to save the Great Horned Owl?
Not much, which is a let-down. In the late 1960s, high levels of mercury- a poison- was found in many owl species. Some more recent measurements have stated that mercury levels have come down, but the bird is still endangered. While they are widely found across a variety of climates, their numbers are low. There are several societies that work to conserve their numbers; much greater effort is needed.

How can you help?
You can start by spreading the word on how these birds are important to biodiversity. Next, how their population is creeping down. If you can reach out to even two people, and assuming that they each discuss the subject with two more individuals, the greater good will win.

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