Intended for healthcare professionals


More basic research is needed to tackle the health effects of global warming

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 13 October 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c5698

Give a hoot about ecology

Facing our second-story kitchen window, a Screech Owl named Hoot
nestles in the hollow limb of a tall oak tree. It's winter, and we watch
Hoot with binoculars, admiring his heart-shaped face, large yellow eyes,
curved beak, huge talons, and brindle plumage. During the day, Hoot takes
a sunbath, but at dusk, he becomes animated, and his head swivels back and
forth, searching the yard for prey. Suddenly, Hoot is airborne and
swallowed up by the night sky. At the foot of the tree are rodent
carcasses that Hoot regurgitates after digesting. We love Hoot, and marvel
at his stoic, spartan, solitary existence. Regardless of size or location,
all backyards offer a bounty of natural beauty and biodiversity.

Competing interests: No competing interests

14 April 2011
Hugh Mann
Eagle Rock, MO 65641 USA