"Phantom of the Northwoods"
Great Gray Owl
woodcarving by Jim Ramsdell
The Great Gray Owl is the largest owl in North America. This is due
to its large and lofty feather plumage. It is far less in body size
and weight than the Great Horned Owl, so the Great Gray
predominately feeds on smaller rodents such as voles, shrews and
mice. They often hunt during daylight and have a well-honed talent
for seizing their prey under thick layers of snow and ice, and can
hunt by sight or ear alone. They can be seen perching or hovering
above the snow, listening for rodents in their tunnels below the
surface, then plunging through the crust to grab their prey, rarely
coming up empty handed.
In the exhibit the wise owl represents Jimís use of recycled and
alternatively gathered woods and solar power in the creation of all
the exhibit sculptures. Viewing the backside of the owl and the base
reveal the weathered and rough-sawn edges of the basswood retrieved
from an old barn near Ashland, Wisconsin.
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