Thursday, July 10, 2008

There's more at RAPTOR than just birds of prey

I was loading the great horned owl today for a program. He kept swiveling his big impressive head around and actually leaning towards me to see over my shoulder. Was he trying to kiss me?

: )

As GHOW's are like feathered satellite dishes, I knew something was up. (Maybe I should take him birding...I bet I could find more birds)
I looking behind me, and saw a very, very, very large BUG caught in a spider web by the door. I tried hard not to do a full-body shiver (I was holding a three-pound owl, you know) and put the bird in his carrier. I peered down at the bug and was delighted to find it was a stag beetle. (Delighted because I had never seen one. And Isabelle is a big-time bug girl, so I was so excited to take pictures of a real live stag beetle for her.)

RBstag beetle caught
He was only stuck by one of his hind legs, but stuck he was.

Not one, but two tiny spiders attempted to go in for the kill.
spider coming in RBstag
(See the little spider at top left?)

I finished loading all the birds and checked on him. He got free! I debated briefly about helping him out of the web, but as we all know, I am on the predator's side in any conflict.
face shot RBstag
He was all messy. And PISSED. He's all reared back and full of attitude. I bet he was tired...who knows how long he had been struggling to free himself.

Free at last  free at last
To give you some perspective on how large it was:
Look at your thumb. If he was on your thumb, you wouldn't be able to see your thumb. Ew.

top view RBstag
That fringed thing on the left is one of his antennae. A very cool bug, even if he was nightmare-sized. Know what this kind of stag beetle is called? Real complicated name:
The reddish-brown stag beetle.

I lasted one whole day of posting bird stuff. But a ginormous beetle capable of capturing and eating a small child is blog-worthy, right?
To see another post about stag beetles (the exact same kind as this one!), go check out Nina.

I have to give a shout-out. We may have a new reader on this ol' blog. My Mom's friend got my blog address from Mom today. (They were watching the infamous flatulence video)
Sharon is a big bird-nut (while rescuing a baby robin, she was told by the rehabber to keep it warm, so before putting the baby in the car, she warmed the car up. YEP. She's one of us.)
So, Sharon, if you are reading this, WELCOME! As in, welcome to the nut house!


John B. said...

I like stag beetles, but I don't think I would want one on my thumb.

Kathi said...

Scared of bugs. tsk, tsk. What am I going to do with you, girl? Glad Isabelle is braver than her Mama.

We have some tiny little many-leggers (centi- or milli- pedes) at the office right now. I don't know what they are, but I wish we could get rid of them. Maybe I need more spiders.


Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

An angry giant staghorn beetle with ginormous pincher parts? I'd have to take a zoom picture from a distance! Very cool bug though.
I like you new banner with No-no.

I want a kiss from a GHO...(pout)

Rurality said...

It must be a banner year for that type of stag beetle. I think I've seen them on 5 or 6 different blogs in the past few weeks! I keep expecting one to show up here at any moment. :)

Anonymous said...

Thought you might like this article about a Eurasian eagle owl at the SF Zoo

Debbie said...

That is one big bug, but extremely long as it wasn't on me!

I also usually rout for the predators in these cases. They have to work awfully hard for their daily bread.

Anonymous said...

My chickens want to meet your beetle. Say tomorrow at 6 p.m.? They'll bring silverware. Seriously, what a cool bug! I got a full-body shiver just watching that video.