The owl’s reputation for wisdom may be due to its large eyes, which gather light and allow it to see effectively at night. With its exceptional vision, an owl is able to see small animals from many yards away, even in the dark.
Contrary to popular belief, an owl is not able to swivel its head all the way around, although it can appear that way. Because the owl cannot move its eyes, its neck contains extra vertebrae that enable it to turn its head three-quarters of the way around.
Though an owl is almost silent while hunting, you may hear one occasionally. Owls hoot at each other to establish territory, and male and female owls will hoot together when they are getting ready to mate—it sounds like a duet.
Though owls tend to stay away from human beings, they do exist in areas occupied by humans. An owl’s diet includes vermin, insects and slugs, so farmers have found them to be very effective at controlling destructive pests that would otherwise harm their crops. Interestingly, the owl is one of the only natural predators of the skunk...since owls have no sense of smell.
Photo by Jon David Nelson