In the Chauvet Caves of southern France, discovered in 1994 by a group of cavers, is the oldest known depiction of an owl in the world. Fascinatingly, this closely observed bird is drawn from behind, but with its head swivelled backwards 180 degrees, to meet the gaze of people walking towards it. The drawings in the caves date back 36,000 years and we have been captivated by owls at least that long. We have fixated on this night hunter as predator, messenger, emblem of wisdom, something pretty to print on a tote bag or portent of doom. Darlington sets out to tell a new story about owls. In her watching and deep listening to the natural world, she cleaves myth from reality and will change the way you think of this magnificent creature.
Monday - Friday, 12th-16th February 2018 at 09:45 on BBC Radio 4
Writer: Miriam Darlington
Abridger: Pete Nichols
Reader: Teresa Gallagher
Sound Engineer: Wilfredo Acosta & David Thomas
Producer: Karen Rose
Music: North Atlantic by Hilary Hahn & Hauschka