This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Nuts and Bolts: wise owls.

We preen ourselves on being able to say bonjour, or guten tag, or kaixo or helo when required (well, we do if we have the rudiments of, respectively, French, German, Basque and Welsh, anyway).

There may even be those among you who can reply zdraveĭte to a greeting in Bulgaria, and hyālō in Bengal.

But who speaks rattle snake, apart from, well, rattle snakes? Is it some long-learned scientist who has dedicated his whole life to the study of the family viperidaeOr some Native American wise man who has learned the lore of the snake together with all the wisdom of the ages?

Well, not as far as I know.

No, it's burrowing owls

photo by SantaFeLady

Burrowing owls share their habitat with both rattle snakes and ground squirrels, and if a squirrel approaches an owl nest looking as if it's hungry for an owlet dinner, then the owl will make a hiss that sounds so much like the rattle of a snake that the squirrel will probably change its mind and decide to have a vegetarian day, after all

Not only this, but burrowing owls can understand the prairie dog language, too. Prairie dog help! There's something out to get me! calls send the owls scuttling away as full speed. This means there are parts of two languages burrowing owls can understand - as well, of course, as the whole of their own.

Neat huh? 

And we thought being able to say por favor was pretty cool.

Word To Use Today: owl. This word comes from the Old English ūle.

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