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But I have a plan to circumvent Belle and her kin; a plan so cunning you could put a beak on it and call it an Eastern Screech-Owl. Please meet my Trojan owl, Nebougepas. That's French for "Don't move!" And she doesn't! I plan to introduce her in the dead of night into the Celery Fields. You see, for years I have watched humans seemingly willy-nilly placing statues of the Great Horned Owl all over the place: on roof- tops, balconies, fence posts, but mostly on docks and piers. There is not a bird on earth who does not fear the Great Horned Owl. Even the American Bald Eagle is hard-pressed to defend its nest from that bully owl's attack. So I concluded that humans were trying to re- pel birds with these statues: I was wrong and I'm big enough to admit it. The owl statues actually attract birds. They act like magnets! Readers, please see exhibit A. It is my only ex- hibit because it proves my only point: People erect human statues such as "Unconditional Surrender" to attract more people; therefore, people erect owl statues to attract more birds. Nebougepas will magnetize Belle and family, allowing me ample time to explore and enjoy Celery Fields with elation and without trep- idation. What a lovely Halloween trick on Belle and what a treat for me! Dear Belle, It is with great pleasure that I accept your kind invitation to come fly the friendly skies of Celery Fields …. Otus ABOUT OTUS Otus Rufous, an Eastern Screech-Owl, was born on Sies- ta 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@sarasotanews- Thank you. 'Nebougepas' is part of Otus' plan to keep himself safe from Belle at the Celery Fields. File photo

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