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   Undertoad  Monday Apr 24 11:37 AM

4/24/2006: Rabbit tracks end in owl wingprints



Neatorama locates this item, which has already gone through a rather extensive round of debunking at the original site. Original photog Susan Barstow says the larger tracks are rabbit tracks; another poster finds the details on the Great Grey Owl which has a wingspan of 4 1/2 feet.

Maybe the bird has just landed and the prints are its own, but just as likely it has taken a rabbit or some other prey.

In either case, an awesome shot.



xant  Monday Apr 24 12:03 PM

OK, here's my analysis.

I think the prints on the right are a red herring. We have no way to tell if they "stop abruptly" or not, because they end in the foreground at the edge of the frame. There are hopping rodents that could have made them. (I thought they were made by deer hoofs at first, but they're too shallow and there's only one line of them.) They *were not* made by the owl. Why? They end at the tree, and there's no take-off print left by its wings at the tree. So my money's on a tree-climbing rodent that made those.

The prints on the left are something with heavy, large feet. I agree that they don't look like rabbit prints, but there's plenty of other rodents that an owl would find tasty. (It would have to be something without a tail.) Whatever it was, the owl clearly got the drop on it. There's also the possibility, although this is just speculation, that the owl briefly picked up something too heavy for it to carry *somewhere else*, then dropped down and let it go again right there. In that case, the trail of prints on the left is departing, not arriving.



seakdivers  Monday Apr 24 12:06 PM

So the rabbit was running towards the owl?

I guess it shows how they can swoop down on their prey without it even knowing it was there.



glatt  Monday Apr 24 12:08 PM

Maybe I should read the discussion at the linked site, but there seems to be some weirdness going on here. I can understand why the large tracks (which seem a little too big to me to be from a rabbit, but what do I know?) end at the bird print. Why do the smaller prints on the right suddenly end too? If a rabbit makes those huge, almost human-sized, prints on the left, what animal made the tiny prints on the right?



ndetroit  Monday Apr 24 12:13 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by xant
There's also the possibility, although this is just speculation, that the owl briefly picked up something too heavy for it to carry *somewhere else*, then dropped down and let it go again right there. In that case, the trail of prints on the left is departing, not arriving.

Sure, but I doubt we'd see the wingprints then at that point, given that the owl (or whatever) likely would have just dropped the object from whatever distance in the air it was... I don't think it would have taken the time to land and gently place it's prey on the ground.


jinx  Monday Apr 24 12:34 PM

Great picture, but I don't know... looks too perfect to be real. I went googling around for more pictures.

Rabbit tracks


Owl imprint


Great Gray Owl "plunge mark"



bigpeeler  Monday Apr 24 01:02 PM

To me it's obvious.

A little girl carrying her pet bunny comes into the picture from the left. An owl of some stature swoops down and grabs the little girl. As the owl lifts her off the ground, she drops her bunny to her left and the bunny hops off directly into a tree, knocking himself out cold.



barefoot serpent  Monday Apr 24 01:12 PM

maybe a rabbit was trying to make a snow angel but did an owl instead.



xoxoxoBruce  Monday Apr 24 05:22 PM

Coincidentally, Saturday I was looking through the Yellowstone Park site and in the "This Month in Yellowstone" section, found these two pictures taken and copyrighted by Bob Fuhrmann of the National Park Service.

I think the first picture and the second picture are the same snow print.

The caption says;

Quote:
Those familiar with the area just south of Mammoth Hot Springs will be able to identify the lower slope of Bunsen Peak on the left side of this image. Bob was skiing back to Mammoth from Swan Lake Flat when he spotted this raptor print on top of Terrace Mountain, 8 years ago. I know I'm not supposed to be posting older images here but I couldn't resist. This is the most spectacular raptor print image I've ever seen.
I agree.

Balls, the urls aren't working. OK, try this then click on Bob Fuhrmann then click on the thumbnails.

#@$&%^$# Once more, go here Then click on "this season in 2006" then click "winter", then Bob Fuhrman, the the thumbnails.

(many bad words) It looks like you have to go to the main page and "Visiting Online", then "This Season in Yellowstone" before you can do the "this season in 2006" then click "winter", then Bob Fuhrman, the the thumbnails.
Good grief.

I give up, I can't get any of those pages linked. But if you get to the Yellowstone main page you can follow the steps I listed. Good luck.


Trilby  Monday Apr 24 05:26 PM

#1) why are all of xob's posts too big to fit on my computer screen?

#2) Why would an owl lay his wings and tail down in the snow like that, huh?



glatt  Monday Apr 24 05:31 PM

The picture Bruce found looks totally fake, but I don't know how it could have been faked. Maybe hang some sort of mold out by a long boom and lower it. Still, doesn't make sense that someone would do that.

They must be real, and they look really cool.



xoxoxoBruce  Monday Apr 24 05:32 PM

The picture is 8.3 inches wide.
Who said it was an owl?



barefoot serpent  Monday Apr 24 06:02 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce
The picture is 8.3 inches wide.
Who said it was an owl?
pygmy owl

but waaaay off the res...


marichiko  Monday Apr 24 06:10 PM

Why wouldn't it be an owl? Those Great Horned owls are BIG suckers! They stand almost 3 feet tall. I've seen great horned flying just above my head at dusk and also found the roost where one hung out during the day. I sure wouldn't want to be a rabbit anywhere in the vicinity. Also, owls have a wonderful sense of hearing and can go after a vole or mouse tunneling beneath the snow which might acount for the Yellowstone pic's.

Interestingly enough, last night I heard the sound track of the first pic. I awoke a little before dawn to hear the distinctive call of an owl outside my open window. I then heard a strange rustling out back which was abruptly stilled and then a few minutes later the owl's call again, only this time receding into the distance.

My cat knew what it was, too. He woke up at the first sounds, froze at the first owl call, and then hid beneath the blankets beside me.



xoxoxoBruce  Monday Apr 24 06:19 PM

I didn't say it wasn't an owl, but the caption says raptor, so we don't know.



xoxoxoBruce  Monday Apr 24 06:20 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by barefoot serpent
but waaaay off the res...
72 pix/in.


tw  Monday Apr 24 08:40 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Undertoad
Original photog Susan Barstow says the larger tracks are rabbit tracks ...
Trail appears to be human with snow spread to make tracks appear older. However if those tracks really were many hours old, then that wing impression must also be 'aged'. Nice forgery.


footfootfoot  Wednesday May 3 01:17 PM

first crop circles and now this. last time I stuck my neck out on a possibly bogus photo analysis I crashed and burned.



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