Owls don’t have eyeballs. They have a particular type of eye that helps them see in the dark and at night. Their flexible vanes on the eyelid help deflect light, letting it see in even the dimmest conditions.
Bird’s Eye View: How Do Owls See
Owls are amazing creatures, and their eyes are no exception. Some researchers believe that owls may be able to see color, but this has not yet been confirmed. They can see in pitch blackness thanks to their other senses. This is why they can find their prey in the dark – by using their eyes to sense movement. Despite not having color vision like humans, owls can still survive and thrive in various environments.
The Three Eyelids of Owls
Owls do have three eyelids. This trait helps them deflect light and see in the dark. Also, their eyelashes help keep debris out of their eyes while flying or hunting. Finally, the vanes on the eyelid help deflect light and see in dim lighting.
The Nictitating Membrane
The nictitating membrane is an interesting eyelid structure only found on owls. It flips up when the owl opens its eyes to scan for prey and then seals back down again. This thin, transparent eyelid helps protect the eye from dust and other particles while also trapping radiant heat from the sun. In addition, it helps regulate the owl’s body temperature by trapping this heat within its eyeball.
Owls’ Eyes Are Tubes
Owls’ eyes are large tubes filled with a clear liquid that they use to see in the dark. Contrary to popular belief, owls’ eyes are not eyeballs. The tube shape of an owl’s eye helps it focus on distant objects while flying. When needed, the owl can close its eyelids so that the light doesn’t enter its eye and blur vision.
Owls’ Hunting Skills Despite Having No Eyeballs
They Are Made to Have Flexible Necks
Owls are the perfect animals to learn about animal vision because they have a flexible neck, light-sensitive eyes, and a protruding head that allows them to see well without obstruction. In addition, their flexible neck allows them to rotate their heads in all directions, which is essential for hunting at night.
Finally, owl eyes are made to be flexible because owls need to be able to twist their heads and necks in all directions to absorb all the information they need during the hunt.
Their Ears Are Wonky but Effective
Owls may not be the first animals that come to mind when you think of eyes, but their eyes are extraordinary. They have the enormous eyeball of any bird, and their ears are also efficient. Owls can hear prey up to a mile away!
Their hearing is so good that they can even detect underwater prey! Their two ear flaps on their head help them detect sound and navigate the darkness. Even though they may not be the first animals that come to mind when you think of eyes, owls have some of the best eyes around.
Their Feathers Help Them Fly Silently
They have some unique eyes in the animal kingdom, and their feathers play an essential role in their flight capabilities. But, as you’ll soon learn, owl feathers are located on the sides of their heads rather than the center.
This allows them to see in all directions simultaneously while flying, making them incredibly stealthy. Additionally, their feathers help keep them warm and insulated during cold weather, as well as provide them with a silent flight capability. With all these fantastic benefits, it’s no wonder owls are such famous birds!
They Can Swivel Their Toes
Owls are some of the fascinating animals on the planet. Not only do they have the ability to swivel their eyeballs, but they also have some of the best night vision out there. This is perfect for hunters, as it enhances their ability to spot prey in the dark and quickly take down their prey.
Most of an owl’s vision is devoted to seeing in near darkness, so they don’t need as much daylight as other mammals. This helps them conserve energy and focus on their prey.
Not All Owls Hoot
Just like all the other animals on Earth, owls can make different sounds. But unlike some of their wild cousins, most owls don’t hoot.
Hooting is a specialized vocalization used to attract mates or announce territory to others in the owl family. While it’s not necessary for survival as other behaviors are, it still plays a vital role in their social lives and overall well-being.
Some Stick Close to the Ground
While most owls are quite capable of flying, some choose to stick close to the ground. This is especially prevalent among Long-eared Owls, which prefer to live in colonies in forests. Sticking close to the ground gives these birds better protection from predators and easy access to food sources.
It also helps them conserve energy as they don’t have to expend as much power when flying long distances or navigating tight spaces.