It’s Wedding Season: Here Come the Owls – The New York Times

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Juliet has been to many weddings, and she’s a pro. While the happy couple are exchanging vows, she comes out of a dark box and hops onto the gloved arm of Duncan Blake, her handler. With a 270-degree turn of her head, she takes in her surroundings.

A squeaky sound suddenly jolts her into motion. Whoosh — off she flies down the aisle, two rings in a little pouch tied around her skinny ankles. Gasps come from the humans sitting below her stretched wings. Seconds later, she lands on another outstretched arm, often belonging to the best man, other times to a bride or groom.

For a moment, Juliet is the star of the ceremony. After delivering the rings, she flies back to Mr. Blake’s arm and receives her reward: a raw chicken’s foot.

She then leaves the room as quickly as she entered it — more than 50 million years of evolution and some 90 seconds of action later — as the humans turn their attention back to the couple.

By now you will have realized that Juliet is an owl, one of several around Britain who have been trained to take a starring role in wedding ceremonies.

Juliet was held by her handler, Duncan Blake, after the ceremony.Gabriella Demczuk for The New York Times

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