With their huge eyes and round faces, it’s hard for people not to see themselves in owls. In folklore, the large birds have a reputation for being both wise and eerie, earned by an uncanny ability to rotate their heads 270 degrees and fly in almost complete silence. Check out some of the faces in this ancient bird family, from a pint-sized pygmy to an owl big enough to take down large mammals.
9. Snowy Owl
This Arctic owl always looks like it’s up to something with alert, golden eyes that dominate its flat white face. The long summer days in northern Canada force snowy owls to hunt during the day as well as night, making them among the few diurnal owls.
8. Barn Owl
The heart-shaped face of the barn owl is striking if you can spot this bird on its roosting perch. Barn owls have keen hearing that lets them hunt more by sound than sight and a raspy call that, paired with its white face, have earned this bird the moniker of “ghost owl.”
7. Barred Owl
This owl’s big, dark eyes are rimmed in striped plumage, making it look like this bird is wearing oversized spectacles. Relatively small in size and gentle in nature, the barred owl might be dubbed the nerd of the owl world if not for its deep, soulful call.
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