We met so by chance, I in one of the many observation posts in my area, she perhaps in preparation for a hunting night.
I say her because I like to imagine her as a female, certainly conditioned by the readings on the goddess Athena from which it derives the name and personality traits that man likes to attribute to gods and animals.
In the case of our owl, it was not too bad: the characteristics of this strigid in Greek mythology are particularly positive; in fact, besides being represented in every iconography together with the goddess Athena, it shares cunning and cunning. It is so important and beloved in Greek culture that it has traversed the centuries to the point of representing the nation in one-euro currency. Another story in our country, Strigiformes, in general, were associated, as the name suggests, with the world of the occult and the crepuscular and nocturnal attitudes did not help to placate the aura of superstition, so much to lead to true persecution in the past.
I omit the details on the treatment reserved for these splendid animals, but perhaps the childhood stories of a dear friend of mine were the starting point to better read up on me and try to do a more conscious photographic work.
We speak of a species with strongly anthropized habits and for which the relationship with man has become an opportunity; for this reason, the rural territory is, in fact, the main place for the species, where the various phases of its biology take place even in broad daylight.
The family I followed had chosen as a nest a hole at ground level, created by landfill; this peculiarity of nesting is reminiscent of an American relative, the little owl of the burrows, usually prefer old abandoned den of prairie dogs.
In reality, as I later discovered, this practice should not have been unusual, given that the European owl comes from the Middle East, where the territory allows this type of nesting.
Over the centuries, Europe has changed several times, the progressive deforestation offers the possibility of colonizing new areas and consequently, Athena’s partner, respecting the universal law of evolution, adapts to the ever-increasing anthropic push, sharing the environment rural agrarian with the man.
The countryside of the splendid Tuscan coast, a place where I live, has allowed me to get to know this bird so common but also elusive to a distracted observation and although I have been patiently following its vicissitudes for 3 years, I still manage to surprise myself with their tender and tenacious interaction with the territory. It was fascinating to follow their experience and to fully understand their customs while respecting their rhythms and naturalness. A way to dispel the prejudices of unfounded inclination towards a discreet attention, rewarded with wonderful sharing of unforgettable moments for me.