By the way, for those interested, the picture above is of a western screech owl. I like owls, but also like cats and lemurs. I never can pick a favorite out of the three, but I do have favorite subsets of each: I love our Ragdoll cat, aye-ayes (aka daubentonia madagascariensis), and screech owls. Barn owls are a very close second; I also like saw-whets . . . snowy owls are quite handsome . . .
On the prosimian tip, I also favor bushbabies for the same reason I like screech owls. They have remarkable personality for their size. Bushbabies will get right up to you and demand that waisin, bub. See the fearsome one to the left? He's thinking: "Gimme a waisin, dammit. I know Shotokan karate and bushbaby-fu. I serve Emperor Dabe. Just hand over the waisins, and I won't be forced to kick your ass."
Screech owls are just adorably fussy. If they could talk, they might say something like this: "Go away. You're so ugly. Leave me alone. Why do you want to bother me?" :)
It seems like North Carolina really has its act together on wildlife preservation. For owls and other birds of prey, the Carolina Raptor Center is a great place to visit and adopt a bird via donation. For prosimians, heck, just in general, Duke University Primate Center is one of the coolest places on earth.
Oh . . . I also like certain frogs.