Conserving heritage breed poultry in North Carolina
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What is a chickcharney?


Artist's rendition of the chickcharney, or Bahamian great owl, by Stanton F. Fink.

Although the stories have been told many times around the campfire, tales of the mythical chickcharney still frighten my children. The mythical, red-eyed owl-like chickcharney lives in the pine forests of our former home, Andros Island, Bahamas. If a traveler meets a chickcharney and treats it well, the person will be rewarded with good luck. If, however, the person is unkind, bad luck and hard times are certain to follow.

The legend might be rooted in reality. The extinct Bahamian great owl was a 3 feet tall, flightless species of barn owl that lived in the Andros pine forests until the 16th century.