Folio 50r Illustration detail
Return to full folio description
||f50r Text: Rolling in nettles saves St Benedict from lust. Bubo the
Owl Illustration: This owl bubo is tawny brown and beige
with a flat face and prominent ears like horns. Bubo, as described
by Aristotle (buas or bruas in Greek) was as large as an
eagle which must indicate the relatively rare eagle owl. It has prominent
ear tufts as shown but it is tawny all over and does not have a flat face.
The long eared owl has a flat face and ears but is also tawny all over.
The barn owl is closest in colouring to the illustration and also has
a flat face, but it does not have ears. As projecting ears or horns are
not mentioned in the Bestiary text they may derive from a much earlier
source which was still aware of the connection between bubo and
the eagle owl. Owl's nests may occasionally be dirty and they are mobbed
by other birds.