|Can you see the owl? (birdingbeijing.com)|
One of my personal favorite things about Long-Eared Owls, including the educational ambassador Long-Eared Owl here at the RMRP, is their facial expression. Okay, it's not really an expression, it's just the way they look. Great Horned Owls like me always appear angry because of our markings and feathers, and Long-Eared Owls always look surprised. Surprised might not be right...perhaps appalled? You decide:
But make no mistake: despite their slightly giggle-inspiring miens, they are fierce and capable wild creatures. These birds are very adept at defending themselves and their nests in myriad ways, including posturing to make themselves look huge, acting injured to draw attention away from a nest, hissing and clacking the beak, and, of course, flying at their attacker feet-first. Their feet are relatively small, but the needle-like talons are plenty sharp and long enough to catch and kill their favorite prey: small rodents that recklessly leave the safety of their burrows at night.
That's all I have for you this time. Tune in next week to learn about the Short-Eared Owl, the close cousin of the Long-Eared Owl. As always, you can email me with questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow me on Twitter @RaptorProgram, check us out on Facebook (Rocky Mountain Raptor Program), and find out more information and stories on our main website (which is brand new and shiny!). If you would like to subscribe to this blog, use the box in the toolbar to the right. Thanks for reading and supporting the RMRP!