Cuteness overload – Indian Scops Owl
Let me be honest here, if at all I have to choose amongst all the birds I know, it would be Owls. They are the cutest, god damn majestic, super expressive face features and so well camouflaged and secretive that even a trained human eye would take a beating many times.
I found this cute pair on an early summer morning safari drive. Want to know more about Owls and this species in particular? Read on..
The cute little pair in the image are known as Indian Scops Owl. Relatively a small (23–25 cm as per wikipedia) owl, although it is one of the largest of the scops owls. Like other scops owls, it has small head tufts. These fellows are nocturnal and pretty rare to spot them during day time, thanks to their ability to blend into the environment through exceptional camouflage.
Although widespread in the region and quite common, apparently little is known about this scops owl’s breeding biology. Their calls are very different, regularly spaced like a frog, attaching a sample from Xeno-canto(a resource site):
Alright lets begin with some unique features of an owl:
- Owls can turn their heads as much as 270 degrees
- Owls are farsighted, meaning they can’t see things close to their eyes clearly
- They are silent flyers, their feathers are designed in such a way that they will fly past you and you can’t hear a thing
- Owls have extremely sensitive ears. It is believed that some owls can hear up to 10 times better than humans can. Owls need this ability to help them find prey that they cannot see with their keen eyes. Owls can hear tiny rodents scurrying around on the ground, even under thick snow
- Owls are widely believed to have the best night vision in the animal kingdom. The eyes of most owls have large pupils and corneas that gather light very effectively. So next time you see one in the night, don’t flash a torch or use camera flash, you are sure to blind them at least temporarily
- The cat is the only other animal that can come close to the owl’s night vision capabilities. Owl eyes function in bright sunlight, too. However, it is believed that owls are not capable of seeing and interpreting a broad spectrum of colors
- Owls (almost) cannot move their eye balls, hence they need to rotate/tilt their head to see what they want to see
These are just some, you should search on internet and will be astonished to see so many amazing and interesting facts about owls.