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Internal Divisions Rack Owls

Two of the owls under observation attempt to work out a disagreement over how to best preserve owl traditions.

CHICAGO -- A recent observational study has revealed a growing rift between old and young male owls. According to ornithologists at the American Orinthologists' Union (AOU), parliaments of owls are facing some serious divisions.

“We are witnessing prolonged infighting among male owls in a way that has never been documented before,” said Dr. John James, an AOU ornithologist and expert on owl behavior. “Males are attacking each other, and it seems that the division is between older and younger owls.”

James notes that they have several theories for the cause of the infighting.

“From what we can tell, the younger male owls seem to be spending more time socializing with female owls and not preparing their nests for the changing environment,” said James. “Owls’ habitats are being encroached upon, and it’s the older owls who seem to be paying more attention while the younger ones attempt to wing it. The older owls seemed to have ruffled some feathers by putting the younger owls in their place.”

James added that the owls’ behavior has been strange but also a “hoot” for the ornithologists who study them.

“It’s fascinating, really. Owls normally are solitary but also get along relatively well in parliaments. Of course, there’s a clear pecking order, but it seems these boundaries are eroding. The younger owls seem to resent the stricter supervision that comes with being taken under the wings of the older owls.”

James admitted that he would be monitoring the situation closely to see how it resolves.

“I’m not sure what the owls will do, but it certainly doesn’t seem like the old owls will fly the coop and give up without a fight,” he said. “At the same time, the young owls certainly won’t eat crow. Whatever happens, we’ll be watching them like hawks.”

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