Sarasota News Leader

05/03/2013

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ASK OTUS Otus Rufous, an Eastern Screech-Owl, was born on Siesta Key and is a full-time resident there. An avid hunter, accomplished vocalist and genuine night owl, Otus is a keen observer of our local wildlife and knows many of nature's secrets. Otus will answer your questions about our amazing wildlife, but only if you Ask Otus. So please send your questions and photos to askotus@sarasotanewsleader.com. Thank you. THE ENDANGERED FLORIDA WOOD STORK IS AN EYE-CATCHING BIRD Dear Readers, Elementary, my dear readers! It is the fabled Roc (or rukh in Persian), which appears throughout The Arabian Nights — the very same bird that destroyed Sinbad the Sailor's ship and carried him off to exotic strange lands. Over the past several weeks I have been asked to identify a mystery bird based solely on vague descriptions by Siesta Key residents and visitors. This bird has been spotted wading during low tide in Little Sarasota Bay, in ponds and at our lagoon. It is consistently described as huge and white with a strange In the 13th century, it was described more accurately by Marco Polo in his travel accounts black head and enormous curved beak. The fabled Roc destroyed Sinbad's ship. Photo by Caltrop via Wikimedia Commons

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