Can you tell what I’ve been researching lately?
Here are a few fun facts that I’ve learned so far:
1. Owls’ eyes are fixed in their sockets, so they have to turn their whole head in order to look in any given direction.
2. There are somewhere between 140 and 200 owl species worldwide (scientists are not in agreement on the total), and North America is home to 21 of those species. The largest is the Great Gray at about 27 inches tall; the smallest is the Elf Owl at 6 inches tall.
3. Owls have particularly soft feathers, and the ones at the front edge of their wings are fringed, which acts as a silencer.
4. The word “owl” comes from the Old English word “ule,” meaning “to howl.”
When I went to my local library here in Garden Home (that’s really the name of the community where I live — isn’t it fabulous?) to pick up the stack of books I’d reserved, I showed off the picture I took of the owl in my backyard to my librarian friends. (Click here to see it.) Someone behind us piped up, “It’s probably a Barred Owl.” I turned around to see a smiling woman in an “Audubon Society Staff” sweatshirt standing there. Wow — now that’s what I call a full-service library! They’d arranged to have someone on hand to answer my question before I even asked it…
Well, OK, maybe not. But still — I LOVE my local library!
Research is such a fun part of my job.
*Click here to read about some recent successful owl rehabilitations at my local Audubon society — Jess Delaney would totally approve.