Finding owls …

While I was out hiking after our last major storm I came across two downed owls, the one pictured a Great Horned Owl and the other a Barn owl. Heavy rain can be hard on them.

Interesting fact: Owl flight feathers have comb-like fringed edges, making them feel much softer, that enable these hunters to move through the air silently. Most other birds make noise whilst flying due to the straight edged feathers which makes stealthy hunting impossible.

However, this specialization comes at a price, the feathers are not waterproof. To retain the softness and silent flight, owls cannot use the preen oil or powder dust that other species use for waterproofing. Most birds do not need to fly silently so waterproofing and preening is an important activity. A preen gland is located at the base of the tail. If you happened to come across a downed owl do not disturb it. The wings will eventually dry out. If you happen upon one that is injured contact the Lindsey Wildlife Museum.


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