Thursday, September 06, 2001

BIO: The Harry Potter series (2001-2004)

WARNING BIOSPOILERS -- Harry Potter
I: and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) tg
II: and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) tg
III: and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) tg


Fictionalized England

Just to name names: Well, you can't hardly have the wrong critters in something that's completely fictional. Science fiction actually is the line you draw where anything goes i think. I just wanted to put these in here, because they have apparently popularized Snowy Owls (Harry's companion du jour) to such a point that there is an educational campaign to point out that it's not legal to possess owls as pets, even the adorable Snowy Owl Hedwig (adorable unless you have one on your arm . . . i promise). I am pretty fascinated by the range of owls they use in the film (apparently all trained individuals).

The species i was able to ID, and there are glimpses of others that are too short to positively name, are:

Common Barn-Owl, Tyto alba

Snowy Owl, Nyctea scandiaca

Eurasian Eagle Owl, Bubo bubo

Little Owl, Athene noctua (interestingly this bird has been identified by some as an Elf Owl, Micrathene whitneyi, but that seems an unlikely choice, and the brief look in the film to me looks more right for Little Owl (especially considering i spent years trapping and banding Elf Owls; in addition, as Laura Erickson has noted on her excellent page on Binoculars.com, in the books, the bird is supposed to be a European Scops Owl, which the filmed dude is not; another site claims that the bird is considered a Eurasian Pygmy-Owl, Glaucidium passerinum).

Great Gray Owl, Strix nebulosa

Tawny Owl, Strix aluco i am not certain of this one, though i believe i have the ID right -- again based on a short look; some sites claim this species is in the film.

In the US, many of the promotional material showed a Great Horned Owl, Bubo virginianus, a species that does not appear in the film. This is probably because the American promo materials were produced in the US and illustrations of that bird were readily available to the artists working on the materials.

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