The strange incident of the owl on the windowsill

I was sent this picture by a work colleague. Michael, who got it from his Polish teacher (nod nod, wink wink, say no more).


It is supposed to be a picture of an owl standing on the external windowsill of our office at Zlote Tarasy.

There’s no question that the windowsill and the background are correct for such a shot. Not sure which level it was taken from but that’s not important. There are however a few questions one might ask about the owl, which I think is a Long-eared Owl (Asio otus):

  1. A nocturnal animal out in the daylight?
  2. A very secretive animal visiting the town centre?
  3. An animal that is written to be between 31-37 cm long suddenly growing to be (as I calculate from the photo) at least 40 up to 50 cm long?
  4. A scared animal (hence the tall “ear” feathers) standing still long enough to get such a clean shot on the spur of the moment?

Is this the first time anyone has spotted the “Greater Polish Long-eared Diurnal Tough-guy Owl”, did a real owl escape from the zoo or is this photo a fake?

Expert, or otherwise, opinions are appreciated.


7 thoughts on “The strange incident of the owl on the windowsill

  1. Fake. The definition is too high for an object ostensibly behind glass. The reflections do not continue across the owl’s body.

    Photoshop’s a wonderful thing, though.

    (I know, I’ve faked enough snaps in my time!)

  2. This is 99.999999999% not a fake.

    … the reflections do not continue because the reflections are on the tower in the background and not on the window.

  3. I can’t tell you about your bird but not long ago I had a red tail hawk land on my patio rail and noticed him as I looked up from my PC. Imagine my surprise. By the time I found my camera and went to shoot a foto he was long gone. Once he came back I then shot some fotos but through the screen so it wasn’ t a good shot as the screen reflected too much sun and blurred him out. I still see him occasionaly but he lands on the building across from me now (I live in a high rise and am on the 15 floor). I have seen owls occasionaly on the xpressway sitting on poles in the middle of day so it may very well be a real photo.

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