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NOTE: This guide applies to the T.a. pratincola and T.a. alba subspecies.

The Barn Owl Trust's leaflet on sexing barn owls: www.google.com/url?sa=t&source…
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I think that in the past I may have said something about putting together a tutorial of some sort because people keep asking me things (mostly about owls). This is the first part of it. I started out with this part not because anyone's actually asked me about it or because it has anything to do with how to draw, but because media tends to get this wrong. Movies get it wrong, literature gets it wrong, the T-shirt catalog in front of me right now got it wrong. And also because I wanted to draw something about the snowy owl that played Hedwig being a male for a long time now.

Anyway, before I start on the rest, is there anything at all, about any subject, that anyone wants to make sure I include (That you can NOT already find a tutorial for)?
Also, do you think that it would be more accessible if I uploaded it into parts (like this one) or combined everything into one or two big tutorials? (Or did both?)
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:iconokamilota:
okamilota Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hmmm... I'm not sure with the female which has all belly in brown color. Isn't it subspecies "Tyto alba gutata"? Because I know that in our country you can only see T. alba gutata, so it can't be only females XD.
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:iconearldense:
Earldense Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2015
I'm pretty sure male Tyto alba guttata don't have brown stomachs, but the reference I used was written for sexing the Tyto alba alba race specifically, so maybe I'm wrong? I know in T.a. pratincola (the American subspecies) females (and only females) can sometimes have brown stomachs, I'm not very familiar with European subspecies, though.
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:iconokamilota:
okamilota Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
www.digimages.info/effclo/effc… (MATURE WARNING!!!!!)
I have found some references. Under 4th Diamond photos says that male Tyto alba guttata has brown belly too.
But if it's based on T.a. pratincola  then I think that it's okay. Since guttata is less common than alba, I think it doesn't make a lot of trouble.
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:iconearldense:
Earldense Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2015
Thank you for the reference, I'll make a note that this guide only applies to T.a. pratincola and T.a. alba :D
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:icon1stlthchurch:
1stLtHChurch Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2015
You do know that Nyra was supposed to be an albino, female barn owl in the movie, right? That's why she has none of the color that the females should have. And, yes, I know she was not albino in the books. She was just supposed to be very pretty with a very white face due to her hatching under a full moon (if I remember correctly. It's been forever since I read the series, no matter how much I still love it). Not to mention powerful as all get out, also due to her time of hatching. That's why Kludd fell for her and mated with her, producing their son and Soren's nephew, Coryn (Nyroc). So she is still definitely a female in the movie version, but she just didn't look it due to her being albino.

I don't know about Hedwig, though. She was definitely a girl in the books, but maybe they had to use a male snowy owl for her actor in the movies because that's all they had, and then they had to make her animated version look the same to remain consistent? I don't know.
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:iconearldense:
Earldense Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2015
She clearly wasn't albino, her pupils were colored and she had black spots and gray markings on her wings and back that the light-colored males have.

Hedwig was played by a few different male snowies in the movies because when Daniel was young females were too heavy for him to hold for long amounts of time.
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:iconlazerbem:
lazerbem Featured By Owner May 20, 2015
Nyra was never natural to begin with. Her face being like the Moon was brought up a lot and she ended up becoming a demon in the end. It wouldn't surprise me if she was asexual or something to those lines, given how she's spewing yellow lasers from her eyes later on in the series
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:iconearldense:
Earldense Featured By Owner May 20, 2015
I think you mean sexless and not asexual, but she clearly wasn't either because she reproduced with a male barn owl, which also means that she wasn't born a hagsfiend because it was stated beforehand that hagsfiends can't reproduce with owls. Of course, that's the book universe, in which it never said that she was white or had any unusual characteristics other than facial disks that formed a more perfect circle than most.
In the movie, though, there's no in-universe explanation for why she would have male coloring either.
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:iconlazerbem:
lazerbem Featured By Owner May 20, 2015
Sexless, that's what I meant. I got the asexual part from TeamFourStar's joke about Cui, my mistake. 

To be totally honest, I feel she was retconned into being a Hagsfiend. Beforehand, she came from the Northern Kingdoms, was an excellent flier, and said little love songs to Kludd. Post Hatching, she can't even say the word love and she flies horribly(that goes with Northern Kingdoms since they have to be excellent fliers by necessity). The later books also imply her goal was to conquer the world with hagsfiends to begin with and that the Pure Ones were just a means to an end. Anyway, I disgress.

While it's true the book wasn't saying anything specific about it, the amount of emphasis that was put on her whiteness(even if it was only said in reference to the face) did give the impression(for me at least) that she was really white. I can see why the movie did it since I had the same impression, even if at the cost of accuracy(and let's be honest, if they were planning ahead, accuracy was the least of their concerns when Nyra starts turning into a demon crow). 

Out of curiosity, could you check Metal Beak's coloring to see if he's accurate to a male Sooty Owl? Maybe they're both off. 
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:iconearldense:
Earldense Featured By Owner May 20, 2015
Yeah, I agree. A lot of stuff in the original six books was retconned, but Nyra definitely got the worst of it. There was even a point in War of the Ember when someone had to explain to her how Krakish owls make nests because apparently Nyra forgot that she was native to Krakland.

Sooty Owls don't have any gender-specific colorations as far as I know, it's just that on average females have denser white spots than males. So he definitely leaned towards a more masculine coloring, though like all Sooty colorations he could have accurately been either gender (based on color). He was disproportionately large for a Sooty Owl, though, especially a male Sooty Owl, and ironically his eyes were smaller than an actual Sooty's. Apparently real Sootys are more cartoony than cartoon Sooties.
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:iconlazerbem:
lazerbem Featured By Owner May 20, 2015
That was probably the biggest fault in the series, continuity. Like, the Guardians of Ga'Hoole lead rescue missions everywhere, why did Soren's father say they were legends? Do they just live in the backwater sticks of the owl kingdoms? There's also the dire wolves, who were thought to be extinct...despite the large population of owls that live in the Beyond, including hireclaws who apparently go to the Southern Kingdoms a lot. Probably the most egregious one is Wortmore dying in the Siege to a venomous bite as well as falling into the ocean yet he is mentioned many times after that as if he was alive. More minor ones include Nyra having only three toes on one talon in her art, despite this not being noted in the books. I love the series to death, but everything from the books beyond The Burning took a hugely different turn. 

More ironically, he's leader of the Pure Ones despite the Sooties being lowest ranking in the books(though it's possible Kludd just implemented that after he came in charge and not the previous High Tyto). Maybe both Metal Beak and Nyra are transgender in the movie. Or Nyra was bleaching herself for some reason. It's probably just to make her look more unique and offer contrast when she became a hagsfiend(assuming the movies were going to go that direction)
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:iconearldense:
Earldense Featured By Owner May 20, 2015
I don't deny that all those other things you listed are errors, but I don't consider the art in the books to be cannon. The designs are way too inconsistent (even in the original six) to have been actually based on what Kathryn Lasky imagined the characters to be. For example, on the cover of The Rescue Kludd has a tawny stomach and small spots, but on the cover of The Siege his undersides are completely white and he doesn't have any spots. Also on the cover of The Hatchling Nyra's facial disks aren't as circular as the books made them out to be and the disks aren't solid white as the books implied they would be (she has brown spots around her eyes).
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:iconlazerbem:
lazerbem Featured By Owner May 20, 2015
Yeah, you're probably right there. Madame Plonk had feather-fingers in one of the arts and the three week old Soren was portrayed as looking quite cute
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:iconkatrueyumenikki:
KatrueYumeNikki Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
WHAT THE
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:iconasher-050100:
asher-050100 Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Lol, dat Nyra :rofl:
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:iconguadisaves02:
guadisaves02 Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2014  Student General Artist
the book also says that Nyra is white, and the official book artwork also describe her as white, so it is similar in some ways i guess :P but you're right of the coloration :meow:
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:iconearldense:
Earldense Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2014
I don't think the book says she's white, it just says she has a large, moonlike face. The artwork in the books is sometimes inaccurate and inconsistent (Kludd starts out with a brown stomach and several spots, then later he's painted as almost solid white with no spots), so I wouldn't consider it cannon. Besides, she's not solid white in the artwork anyway, she looks normal except that she has no spots.
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:iconwindwing101:
WindWing101 Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2014
Oh my gosh, thank you for doing this! The Legend of the Guardians movie was frustrating for me, especially since the book it was based off of was by an author who actually payed attention to these details...

Obviously the movie did it so you could more easily tell males and females apart, but wouldn't voices be enough? Why do girls always have to be smaller and petite? In fact, most bird species I know of the sexes are the same size, or the female is larger (Raptors)... In insects that's often the case too. I remember reading someone's comment saying "Well in general males are always bigger and stronger." Sure, that's true for the most average male mammals, but I don't like how our society is having it incorporated with species that don't follow that rule. Heck, insects rule the whole planet and greatly outnumber mammals, and their biology is completely different. Even if it is just a kid's movie, it seems to rub off. I was at a wolf sanctuary place, and the head guy asked "What do we call the lowest ranking wolves?" and some little boy, maybe around 5, was like "Females."

I was like, "The hell your parents teaching you?" o.o'

Anyways, sorry for this long rant, I'm really glad you made a guide. Just standing up for animals and women's rights I guess xD
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:iconearldense:
Earldense Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2014
You're welcome, I guess xP
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:iconwindwing101:
WindWing101 Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2014
xD No problem.
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:iconscratch212:
scratch212 Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2014  Student General Artist
nyra: im a guy Troll 
metal beak: A Real o.O 
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:iconxxloki-fangirlxx:
xXLoki-FangirlXx Featured By Owner May 10, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Nyra's face says it all! XD poor Metal Beak. XD
thank you for the info. Lol wow idiot know that females were bigger than males. Yay is females are stronger! Anyways yeah that cracked me up. Also I so didn't know tha headwig was a male.
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:iconjdcorc:
Jdcorc Featured By Owner May 7, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Every time I try and look at Nyra's face..

Nyra: I'm a guy *epic troll face*

Me: *Starts cracking up like an insane person in an asylum*
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:iconkittykat32456:
kittykat32456 Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2014
Im a guy.Problem? 
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:iconrandomhyenalol:
RandomHyenaLOL Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
Love the information source, and I have to agree. I love Nyra's face xD 
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:iconearldense:
Earldense Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2014
Thank you :D
Reply
:iconcelestial-rainstorm:
Celestial-Rainstorm Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist

Nyra you troll.


And yep! The Hedwig used in the movies was male, because I read somewhere little Danny wasn't strong enough to hold a full-grown female.

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:iconearldense:
Earldense Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2013
I can understand that, Snowies are really huge.
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:iconcelestial-rainstorm:
Celestial-Rainstorm Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yeah! I'm studying to be a raptor conservationist, so I've got to have a good arm to handle those girls! I both dread and look forward to the day I get to handle a female Eurasian Eagle owl...
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:iconhootowleffenkiel:
HootowlEffenKiel Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2013  Student Writer
Nyra's face... LOL xD
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:iconamandadragoness115:
AmandaDragoness115 Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2013  Student Digital Artist
LOL nyra XD
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:iconsnowharmony:
SnowHarmony Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2013  Student Digital Artist
heh! Nyra is born a natural white barn owl. I think her father was a snowy? and mother a barn owl?
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:iconearldense:
Earldense Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2013
Snowies and Barn Owls can't reproduce, but then I wouldn't put it past the creators to take such generous artistic liberties (there's already interspecies relations). She doesn't look half Snowy at all, though. 
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:iconsnowharmony:
SnowHarmony Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Meh. My theory. Just an idea of how that happened.
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:iconnom-nom-city6:
Nom-nom-city6 Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2013
In the books of Harry Potter Hedwig is female, but in the movies Hedwig is played by 3 different male snowy owls.
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:iconearldense:
Earldense Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2013
That's the point.
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:iconfeather-of-maat:
Feather-Of-Maat Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2013
I'm not the only one who noticed this! :D It's funny, because I only just finished watching the "Legend of the Guardians" movie (but apparently the books are better. Unfortunately my library has one copy of each book and a looong waiting list for each.) Anyway, the other thing that kept bothering me in the "Legend...Guardians" film is that the owls were moving their eyes. Owls can't move their eyes--they're fixed in their sockets!
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:iconearldense:
Earldense Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2013
Well, moving their eyes is more artistic license. You need them to move their eyes to make certain facial expressions.
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:iconvictoriaascencio:
VictoriaAscencio Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Lol xDDD
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:iconhawkfur101:
Hawkfur101 Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Another thing the LOTG Movie got wrong:
Barn Owls have completley black eyes.
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:iconearldense:
Earldense Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2013
Well, dark brown or gray eyes. Sooty Owls can have dark red eyes. But yeah, the yellow/orange/blueish green eyes on Barn Owls looked really weird and out of place.
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:iconwhitewingedfox:
Whitewingedfox Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2013
Soren's an old female

how quaint
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:iconxxrekathedogxx:
xXRekaTheDogXx Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2013
lol the end XD
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:iconsnak3-charm3r:
Snak3-Charm3r Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
the look on Nyra's face kinda reminds me of Peter Griffin's troll face when Lois wondered if sodomy was illegal when they converted to Judaism.
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:iconpaperowls:
PaperOwls Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
YES.
This part of Nyra always irked the heck out of me!
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:iconashthetyto:
ashthetyto Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Maybe Nyra is an albino (?)
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:iconearldense:
Earldense Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013
He's obviously not.
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:iconashthetyto:
ashthetyto Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Fair enough ;)
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:iconblackshadow6202:
BlackShadow6202 Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
XDDD Oh...oh gosh....poor Metal Beak....

or maybe his mate's just piebald? O.o
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:iconearldense:
Earldense Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013
But then she wouldn't have the light gray markings on her back, she'd either be solid white or still have patches of her dark coloring showing, wouldn't she?
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