Short-eared Owl in Flight

Short-eared Owl in Flight

I am fascinated by Owls, the "Natural Born Ninja" of the Class Aves (Birds).

Vision: Large, forward-facing, stereoscopic eyes give them a greater sense of depth perception. Their eyes are highly developed in ways that allow them to see in low light. Although their eyes are fixed in their sockets, they have extremely flexible heads/necks to compensate.

Hearing: Owls have flat faces and facial disks that act like a radar dish. They can adjust the feathers on their face to focus the sounds they hear. They have the ability to perceive the minute difference when sounds reach their two ears at different times, thereby locking in the exact position of the source.

Stealth: Once owls have locked into their prey, they approach silently due to their specially developed feathers with serrated edges that muffle their wing beats. Additionally, their feathers are dull making them almost invisible under the specific light conditions that they hunt in.

Weapons: Their short, sharp, curved beak is utilized for gripping, tearing or crushing prey. Their talons are very powerful and specifically short to withstand impact. They have sharp claws and their feet have rough undersides for gripping. Like other birds of prey, they can lock their toes like a ratchet so that they do not use further muscular effort.
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