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Incredible curiosities of the owl, bird of the year 2018

The common owl is, this 2018, the bird of the year, according to the popular vote organized by the environmental NGO SEO / BirdLife . The Sandpiper and Egyptian Vulture have been the other candidate birds. As a result of the appointment, the Barn Owl will become the protagonist of the NGO’s annual campaign, which will launch awareness and conservation actions for this nocturnal raptor whose populations are suffering a serious decline . According to SEO / BirdLife, the owl population has been reduced by half in the southernmost areas of our country. The reasons are basically those related to the change in the rural world in recent years: the massive use of pesticides in agriculture , the abandonment of the countryside and the loss of areas to live in. For all these reasons, the owl is included in the List of Wild Species in the Special Protection Regime of our country.

What you don’t know about the owl

His face is like a satellite dish . The face of the owl, in addition to housing its eyes and beak, serves as a parabolic antenna for this nocturnal raptor, capturing the sound and bringing it to its ears, which are hidden on both sides of its face.

Its ears are not at the same height and this together with the parabolic power of its face makes the animal able to triangulate the place where a prey is found.

Their eyes are almost twice as sensitive to light as those of humans and they are positioned straight ahead, not one on each side of the head as is the case with other birds.

– He is very faithful to his partner .

It does not make any noise when flying . This is possible thanks to the structure of its feathers, which dampen the noise of friction with the air.

It is carnivorous and although it totally engulfs its prey, it does not digest skin, hair or bones. After eating its prey (mice, voles and small mammals) it regurgitates these indigestible parts in the form of a ball, known as an epigraph.

– It does not build nests . The owls take shelter from the rain and the wind in hollows of rural buildings such as bell towers and barns.

It emits a good amount of vocalizations . According to SEO / BirdLife up to 17 and almost all strident.

Females have small freckles on their chests and males do not . It is the physical characteristic that most differentiates both sexes.

The Greeks associated the owl with Athena , goddess of war and wisdom, so seeing an omen of victory. For the Romans, on the contrary, it symbolized bad luck and brought only death and disaster.

Hedwig is the name of Harry Potter’s owl , with which the wizard has a great connection. The bad news is that in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows a curse ends the faithful animal. Other characters in the story devised by JK Rowling also have their own owls: Errol, Pigwidgeon, Hermes, Malfoy’s Eagle Owl, are some of these famous birds of prey.

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