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Dublin: 4 °C Tuesday 25 February, 2020
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Is it a bird? Owl leaves its mark on woman's window

Sally Arnold came home to find this strange but beautiful mark on her window.

Image: Royal Society for the Protection of Birds/Sally Arnold

BIRDS AND WINDOWS do not mix as this near perfect imprint of an owl on a house window in England shows.

Sally Arnold, from Cumbria in northern England, was surprised to arrive home from her holiday to discover this ghostly looking sight hovering in the window.

Turns out it was the imprint of an owl, most likely a tawny owl, which left a white silhouette of its full body, complete with eyes, beak and other intricate body features.

The imprint is the result of what’s known as “powder down” – a substance which protects a bird’s growing feathers.

Arnold told the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) that her first concern was for the welfare of the bird following the apparent crash:

Fortunately, there was no sign of the bird and we can only assume that it had flown away probably suffering from a headache!

The RSPB said it was unusual to get such a weird and accurate imprint but points out that birds often collide with windows or start to attack them, especially around this time of year when there are so many young birds around.

The Society even advises that the risk of birds smashing into your window can be reduced by making the window pane more obvious to the bird or by removing the reflection.

The BBC has published user images of some of the silhouettes from birds crashing into window panes, although none quite as impressive as Sally Arnold’s.

Send your bird images into us – tips@thejournal.ie or if you’re using our iPhone, iPad or Android app, tap the camera button on the top right of your screen.

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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