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Great Gray Owl (Strix nebulosa)

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Paul Bannick Photographs the Great Gray Owl

A few years ago, Paul Bannick went to photograph the Great Gray Owl irruption in Northern Minnesota. He writes: "I went out one morning before the sun had risen and found one owl that was in a particularly photogenic place. I watched that owl." Paul learned what the bird's habits were, and that... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  photography

The Eyes of an Owl

Peer into an owl's face – there is something almost human about its large, forward-facing eyes. The Great Gray Owl, which stands two feet tall and weighs 2 and 1/2 pounds, has eyes larger than those of most humans! Enormous eyes enable owls to see in near darkness. An owl's retinal anatomy is... read more »

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The Ears of an Owl

Exactly where are an owl's ears? Well, the eyes of this Great Gray Owl are set in a broad, dish-shaped face. Ridges of tiny hair-like feathers rim the owl's face, creating "facial disks." Just below the margins of the facial disks, concealed by feathers, are the openings to the owl's ears. The... read more »

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Northern Forest Owls - Coming South this Winter?

Of all the surprises that winter might bring, among the most wonderful would be a grand influx of northern forest owls like this Boreal Owl. Every few years, a surprising number of owls move south from the boreal forest of Canada and Alaska into the northern tier of the United States, especially... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology

Why Do Owls Bob Their Heads?

If you were to stand face to face with an owl, it would eventually move its head, bobbing rhythmically from side to side, then forward, then back. Or almost completely upside down. This head-bobbing action helps make up for an anatomical limitation: an owl’s eyes are fixed in position — they can... read more »

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