Advice: Great Horned Owls prey to any other animal species?


Dear Beerhaze,

Are Great Horned Owls prey to any other animal species?

My homework is due tomorrow and I have nothing!

Dear Burning Rubber,

I’m here to help! And yes… they are! The Great Horned Owl is considered a delicacy, and therefor most often fall prey to humans. The only other animal that will threten them are other Great Horned Owls.

The Great Horned Owl is a big owl species, weighing close to 4 lbs. It will make a nice stew in any family-sized slow cooker or Dutch oven. The Great Horned Owls are quite laggard, so often all you need is a flashlight, small caliber rifle and the ability to make “who-o-o, who-o-o” sounds, in order to serve up a scrumptious meal.

Below you will find a classic French owl recipe, Hibou au Vin, supposedly the favorite dish of celebrities, such as: Tom Cruise, George Clooney, Michael Moore, Charlize Theron, Jack Black, Sarah Jessica Parker, Will Smith, Jessica Alba and Miley Cyrus, just to mention a few.

Ingredients:

7-8 bacon slices
20 pearl onions, peeled, or 1 large yellow onion, sliced
1 full-grown Great Horned Owl (or smaller owls, equalling 4 lbs), cut into serving pieces, skin on (an older rooster, tired-old hen or even chicken can be used as a substitute)
6 garlic cloves, peeled
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups owl stock (chicken stock can be used as a substitute)
2 cups dry red wine.
2 bay leaves
Several fresh thyme sprigs
Several fresh parsley sprigs
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 lb button mushrooms, trimmed and roughly chopped

Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Preparation:

  1. Brown bacon on medium-high heat in a heavy skillet big enough to hold the owl, about 10 minutes. Remove the bacon, set aside. Add onions and owl pieces to the hot bacon grease, skin side down. Brown the owl, about 10 minutes. Halfway through the browning, add the garlic and sprinkle the owl with salt and pepper.
  2. Spoon off any excess fat. Add the owl stock, wine, and herbs. Add back the bacon (preferably chopped in to smaller pieces). Lower the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 20-30 minutes, or until owl is tender and cooked through. Remove owl and onions to a separate platter. Remove the bay leaves, herb sprigs, garlic, and discard.
  3. Add mushrooms to the remaining liquid and turn the heat to high. Boil quickly (without a lid) and reduce the liquid by three fourths until it becomes thick and saucy. Lower the heat, stir in the butter. Return the owl and onions to the pan to reheat and coat with sauce. Adjust seasoning. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Serves 4. Serve Hibou au Vin with potatoes or over egg noodles, accompanied with butter-fried asparagus and crushed walnuts. Owl dishes are best enjoyed with simple red wines: Pinot Noir, Burgundy, or Zinfandel.

The dish will be musty and rich; you don’t want to owerpower all that goodness with a strong tasting wine. It can also be preprepared and slowly heated through before serving.

Please note! The Great Horned Owl is protected in most jurisdictions. However, getting permission to hunt for personal consumption is easily attained by calling your local authorities.

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