A Great Horned Owl, that’s Whooo!

This gallery contains 3 photos. A female Great Horned Owl makes the rounds with a studied nonchalance and an unflappable nature at the Sixth Annual Raptor Festival in Terra Nova Rural Park, Richmond, on August 17.

Great-Horned-Owl1
Go on. Pretend you’ve seen this crowd before and don a look of blasé.

You’d think that with such big eyes, owls would be able to see their prey exceedingly well in the dark (which they do)–but it’s actually their hearing that is their first claim to fame; that sense can be up to 10X better than human hearing–and helps them become proficient hunters, especially in low light conditions. You may be surprised to learn that owls have ears that are not level with each other — one is higher than the other, and each earhole is even angled a bit differently too. Quite the sonar.

Great-Horned-Owl-Stare
No one can look surprised like an owl. Particularly with those tufts acting like eyebrows do on a human.

The “periscoping” that we see owls perform is to compensate for their eyes, which are fixed in their sockets. As a kid, I always thought it was cool that they could swivel their heads to such a huge degree. This particular owl is one of the four feathered charges exhibited by the Raptors Centre, a Vancouver Island-based wildlife conservation society devoted to the rescue, rehabilitation, and sometimes loan to the movie industry of birds of prey.

Great-Horned-Owl-and-Handler
She’s very attentive, isn’t she? Female owls, like all raptors, are 20% bigger than males. 

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7 thoughts on “A Great Horned Owl, that’s Whooo!

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