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Strange but true – screech owls, the cute ones, with long feathery “ears”, have their own winter lodgings in the ASU inner courtyard on Pervomayskaya Street.

They return every year, like clockwork, as soon as the chill of the first autumn days start creeping in. About 40 birds prefer stately birch trees, the rest favor bristly pine branches.

Nobody knows why these mysterious creatures chose this spot. Bird watchers claim that owls tend to settle down in serene places with an aura of tranquility and quiet competence, historians have an earful of old Adyghe legends connected to the site.  Zoologists, probably the most practical of the lot, suppose that the trees are sheltered from winds and cats – and that’s all there is to it.

Even the noise of students’ chatter doesn’t seem to scare away the birds, who can be seen napping away in broad daylight from the windows of Mathematics and Computer Science and Physics and Engineering Departments.

Have your own ideas about the screech owls mystery? Join our student community and we will put it to the test.