Black Owls

QUESTION:  Barn owls are traditionally brown.  Although white and black barn owls do happen, they rarely survive in the wild. What is the ratio of black barn owls to brown barn owls?
A)  1 in 10
B)  1 in 1,000
C)  1 in 100,000
D)  1 in 1,000,000

Yesterday, we brought back one of our favorite subjects of conversation: the Omrod's Giant World of Miniatures display dedicated to 40 Horror Films. Maybe that was a mistake, because we simply cannot stop talking about it once we start, and today we are going to highlight another element of the same picture of the Bride of Frankenstein, specifically, the black owl over her left shoulder, behind her. Truth be told, it is quite uncommon to see an actual black owl in the wild, so it is highly unlikely that the one in the 40 Horror Films display depicts a real life owl. We are quite confident, though, that it honors the 2005 film Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which happens to offer the introduction of the character Sirius Black. Played by Gary Oldman in the films, Sirius Black was introduced in the third story, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Black was a close friend of Harry's parents, and became something of a father figure to Harry while he was also a refugee from the law. He sent messages to Harry whenever he could using whatever device or animal he could to reach him, most notably a black owl. To our knowledge, the black owl did not have a name but did arrive with a warning that it had a tendency to bite.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was released in films in 2005 and was the third highest-grossing film of the eight in the franchise, followed by both parts of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows. It turns out that it was an actual brown owl that was covered in non-toxic black dye to change its color. The only owls born with black feathers in reality are highly unusual and have a tendency to be attacked by other owls. Owls can be cruel.

ANSWER:  C)  1 in 100,000, although we have seen an argument where the correct answer is D) 1 in 1,000,000. If you have doubts, we recommend counting all the barn owls in the world, and noting which are which colors. Please don't hurt them, though. We love barn owls!