A Wise Old Creature by a Very Unwise Human

I love Owls.  And I think I’ve admitted that before.  While it might seem as though I’m repeating myself, I thought I’d share a few facts about this fascinating creature – things I learned while I was researching another book I’ve been working on. So prepare to have your life changed… or not 😀

1.  Owls have binocular vision (like humans), however their large eyes are locked in their sockets, which means they must turn their heads to change their view.  They are also farsighted, which is great for hunting and night vision, but the wise owl should wear glasses for reading…

2.  They have fourteen vertebra in their necks, compared to a human’s seven.  This allows them to turn their heads 270°.  (Careful, you might get stuck like that if the wind changes!)

3.  The largest owl by length, is the Great Grey Owl, which measures around 70 cm on average, but can reach a length of 84 cm.  But does size really matter?

4.  How cute is this little fella?  He’s the Elf Owl, the smallest of the owls, coming in at a miniature 31 grams and 13.5 cm (5 inches) in length.  Who wouldn’t want one?


5. As the owls are a bird of prey, they must be stealthy and quiet.  Their beautiful plumage and specific markings can render them almost invisible in certain conditions.  The serrated edges of their feathers also help reduce noise, so mind yourself!

6.  Some cultures – Aztec/Mayan and parts of Africa – believed the owl to be a harbinger of death.  They believed that hearing the hoot of an owl would mean someone would die.  Also, in Arab mythology, seeing an owl was a bad omen.  (How could they think it?)

However, in Western society the owl is associated with wisdom and this is the way I will always think of them.

    Owl see you next time…

One response to “A Wise Old Creature by a Very Unwise Human

  1. Sigrid Olderdissen

    You do not need to go back to disappeared cultures or over to Africa to find people who associate the hoots of owls with death. Living in Germany, I know many above all elderly people who would tell you in the morning – filled with worries – whenever they had heard an owl hooting in the night before, asking themselves who may have died or who will die in the nearby future. This always make me smile as living in the country near forests and with gardens around you would be able to hear more than one owl hooting every night. Following that, all people in the area should have died already if the fears of those people were right. So, being used to sleep with the window open, I seem to be the only one here to enjoy the hoots of the owls adding to the mysterious sounds of night. I love owls and without their nightly hooting something very important would be missing in my life.

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