Sunday, February 3, 2013

Superb Owl Sunday

Not my idea. Shamelessly stolen from BoingBoing and I'm sure it didn't start there. Check out all the Superb Owl pictures and videos people have posted in the thread. I love this Northern White-Faced Owl video which I haven't seen before - although the Japanese TV show is a bit distracting. If you are curious why the owl transforms itself into 'evil-owl' then Wikipedia provides a logical explanation:

  As shown, the owl has a rather notable defense mechanism. When faced with another owl slightly larger than it, the bird flares its wings to appear larger. When faced with something much larger than itself, it pulls its feathers inwards, elongates its body, and narrows its eyes to thin slits. It is thought that it uses this ability to camouflage itself,and it shares the ability with relatives like the African Scops Owl. In fact, many different types of owls have some ability to adopt a "concealing posture", also known by the German word Tarnstellung, in which they squeeze and thin their body to look like a broken tree branch, and some types may also narrow their eyes to slits and fold a wing sideways across their chest in a Dracula-like manner to hide the lighter-colored feathers on their underparts. Such behavior has also been documented in Eastern Screech Owls in a natural setting reacting to threats.

This video shows some Eastern Screech Owl's doing the same trick in a more natural setting so you can see how the camouflage works.

Owls are awesome.

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