There has been some debate as to whether or not the owls in the GIF set I posted earlier are experiencing discomfort, or simply swiveling to use their auditory senses to triangulate the source of the music.
What the owls were doing in the GIFs appear quite different from the dramatic hunted over, wings-out, swaying behavior that these threatened owls are exhibiting.
It seems to me that the owls are trying to pinpoint the music source as the Nerdist article linked to above suggests.
I love birds, and volunteer and work with rehabilitating aquatic birds every weekend. I don’t condone unethical treatment of animals or placing them in any sort of stressful situation.
If anyone has any hands-on experience working with owls, feel free to chime in.
1. Those owls you linked are displaying aggression because they feel threatened, not discomfort from human presence. So you cannot equate one body language to another for different emotions in animals.
2. No matter how much you love and work with birds, you CAN be wrong about them sometimes, especially when species behavior can vary so greatly.
3. You keep linking to ONE article. That is a major red flag when it comes to information gathering. You can’t just pick one source when you’re trying to be credible, because you don’t know if that source might be wrong as well
Here is a video of owls doing the exact same motion WITHOUT loud music playing nearby. The only thing that’s the same about this video and the one of the three owls “dancing” to kesha is the presence of humans.
“The two juvenile barn owls’ rocking behavior indicates they are agitated by the presence of humans, suggesting they have not been habituated during the captive-rearing process.”
Here’s another video of young barn owls doing a rocking motion. Again, the only thing thats the same is the presence of humans.
This barn owl is in a very bad situation, hundreds of strangers, loud music, no place to hide. There is music playing in the background but its only rocking its body, not it’s head, which is looking around everywhere.
And again, heres more barn owls rocking in response to being around humans. There isn’t always music, the constant is always humans being close to them, to close for their comfort. Humans only play music around them because they think this behavior is cute. And why would a barn owl be trying to focus on something yet having its specialised face for hearing turned away? You can find dozens of videos depicting this exact motion in barn owls from just a quick youtube search.
These bay owls are also displaying this exact same behavior while a human is stroking them. It’s unclear if they’re playing loud music around them or not but the fact that they added their own music using video editing suggests there wasn’t.
Thank you for taking the time to find these videos. You can see why I’m skeptical as to random claims. Searching online for “owls displaying aggression” did not turn up any useful information like these videos. It did not occur to me to search for “dancing owls” to find these videos.
Finding well-written information or examples of this behavior wasn’t easy. I agree with the points you made. I took the post down.
Also, I wasn’t claiming to be right, hence asking for opinions of others. The reason I only linked to that article is because information is scare. You yourself linked to zero articles to back up your claims until just now. Had you provided links (even a few) from the beginning, I probably would have taken the post down right away.