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Field Guides & Natural History  Ornithology  Non-Passerines  Birds of Prey

Urban Lady The Phenomenon of the Long-Eared Owl Wintering Grounds in the Cities of Northern Bosnia and Herzegovina

Monograph
By: Almir Hukić(Author), Olga Fomičov(Translated by)
135 pages, 180 colour photos
Publisher: Almir Hukić
NHBS
This photographic monograph studies and shows the remarkable phenomenon of wintering flocking by Long-Eared Owls in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Urban Lady
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  • Urban Lady ISBN: 9789926466787 Paperback Jan 2019 In stock
    £30.00
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Price: £30.00
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About this book

Language: English

This monograph is the product of the author's personal, long-term fascination with the role of owls in the natural world. Bosnia and Herzegovina is host to ten species of owls, as well as one of the biggest wintering grounds of the long-eared owl (Asio otus) in this part of the region, namely Šamac. The topic of their wintering grounds is still veiled in mystery, because as a species they are the rare type of owl that engage in winter flocking. During the winter months of 2016, 2017 and 2018, the author visited multiple northern Bosnian cities in order to record and photograph urban winter flocks of the long-eared owl, i.e. their wintering grounds. Former and current field research, done in northern Bosnia in 2012 and 2018 by the members of the Ornithological Society "Our Birds" from Sarajevo and the members of the Society for Research and Protection of Biodiversity from Banja Luka, has revealed dozens of different wintering sites of the long-eared owl in the north of Bosnia and Herzegovina. On the other hand, the author's work focused on the cities of northern Bosnia, which are populated, urban areas hosting these owls during the winter months, which is an unusual phenomenon considering the fact that such locations are not their typical habitat, which are normally forest edges, ploughland, and bushes, among others. All the aforementioned elements ignite the imagination and turn the long-eared owl into a mystical entity in our surrounding natural world.

The monograph focuses on the municipality of Šamac on the river Sava in the northeastern part of the Republika Srpska as the largest urban wintering ground of the long-eared owl in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The wintering ground cities covered here have 30 kilometres on average between one another by road. They are all located on the route of the river Sava and are mostly part of the fertile geographical terrain of northern Bosnia, known as Posavina. Posavina is the extension of the fertile region of Vojvodina, which is located in the neighbouring Republic of Serbia, and which also hosts a significant number of the long-eared owl wintering grounds.

As a special addition, this monograph presents a section on the spiritual aspects of the wintering grounds – wintering sites in the churchyards of the orthodox church in the Srbac municipality, the Franciscan monastery in Tolisa by Orašje, the Catholic church in Domaljevac, and the wintering site in the yard of the old mosque in Brka by Brčko. In addition to the author's photos, this monograph is further enriched by the camera lens wielded by guest photographer Danijel Mihajlović, whose expertise is a valuable contribution to the unique depiction of these wonderful and mysterious birds.

The main objective of this photo monograph is to illuminate this peculiar natural phenomenon to all local and international nature lovers to stop superstitious beliefs about the presence of owls which are still widespread in this region, and to put forward the idea that the symbiosis and coexistence of wild animals and humankind are still possible, no matter how impossible they may seem.

Customer Reviews

Biography

Almir Hukić was born on 12.10.1980 in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Since 2013, he has been visiting and photographing wintering grounds of the long-eared owl in the north of Bosnia, as well as the colony of the great cormorant gathered by Lake Modrac near Tuzla. He has successfully paired his love for nature and birds of prey, expressing himself though the medium of wildlife photography. He is a member of the Ornithological society "Our Birds" in Sarajevo. He authored the exhibit "The Long-Eared Owl at Our Wintering Grounds" during the Ornithofestival in Trebinje, Bosnia and Herzegovina in October 2018, as well as several individual exhibits in Tuzla. He wishes to organize and lead birdwatching and bird photo safari tours across his homeland, in order to promote the rich and timeless beauty of the ornithofauna of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Monograph
By: Almir Hukić(Author), Olga Fomičov(Translated by)
135 pages, 180 colour photos
Publisher: Almir Hukić
NHBS
This photographic monograph studies and shows the remarkable phenomenon of wintering flocking by Long-Eared Owls in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Media reviews

"Über die Überwinterungsplätze von Waldohreulen (Asio otus) und deren in diesem Zusammenhang zum Teil massenhaftes Auftreten ist zahlreich publiziert worden. Dass dies ein europaweites Phänomen darstellt, zeigt der ursprünglich in bosnischer Sprache erschienene Bildband von Almir Hukić. Dabei legt der Autor nicht Wert auf ausführliche monografische Beschreibungen dieser Eulenart. Stattdessen reicht eine kurze Vorstellung, bei der den Leserinnen und Lesern deutlich wird, wie wichtig Hukić der Schutz (nicht nur) der Eulen und der Kampf gegen den Aberglauben gegenüber dieser Vogelordnung auch in Bosnien und Herzegowina ist. Das gesamte Werk besticht durch seinen Reichtum an Fotografien, die die Waldohreulen sowie einige andere Vogelarten, Lebensräume und Überwinterungsplätze gekonnt darstellen. Gerade auch dadurch ist der im Großformat erschienene Band wertvoll. Dabei fällt einmal mehr auf, dass diese Eulenansammlungen (mit manchmal mehreren hundert Individuen) oft in Friedhöfen zu beobachten waren, aber auch – wie vom Rezensent immer wieder selbst festgestellt – an teilweise stark belebten Straßen. Auch wenn die einzelnen Eulenindividuen aufgrund ihres Gefieders auf den Überwinterungsbäumen nicht immer auszumachen sind, macht es große Freude in dieser 135 Seiten umfassenden Bildsammlung zu blättern und die Faszination des Autors und der Fotografen zu teilen! Almir Hukić über die „urban ladies“: „Wenn sie Dich anschauen, hast Du das Gefühl, dass Du von höheren Wesen beobachtet wirst, und man gibt Dir zu verstehen, dass die Menschen entweder unter ihnen oder nahezu auf derselben Ebene der existentiellen Hierarchie stehen.“
– Rudolf Schaaf, NABU-Arbeitsgemeinschaft Eulenschutz im Landkreis Ludwigsburg (AGE), https://www.ag-eulenschutz.de.

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