Liberty Wildlife has a number of barn, burrowing, great horned, and screech owls in its Education program. While every one of our ambassador birds plays a valuable role in educating the public, owls go a step further, by showing off unique, sometimes otherworldly versions of predatory beauty that are usually concealed by darkness. Barn owls, for instance, have an almost alien look, with a disc-shaped face that helps them hunt even in zero-light conditions by allowing them to find prey solely by sound. Its light coloring, and the fact that owl feathers are uniquely designed to minimize flapping sounds, adds an almost ghostly demeanor, like a phantom dipping through the night air. Though among the most common owls on earth, they may go seldom seen, simply because, unlike the larger great horned owl that frequents the dusk hours, barn owls are true night hunters.
Not every owl lurks hidden in the shadows, however. Some are much closer than we realize, simply hidden in plain sight. The mighty great horned owl must roost during the day and take care to pick a safe spot to do so, lest it find itself at the mercy of red-tailed hawks, who will waste no time in driving owls out of their territory or even killing them. This often means tucking itself into a billowy tree and keeping out of sight until the sunset comes and the tables are turned.
Even more inconspicuous than a roosting great horned, burrowing owls are small spotted owls that nest underground and remain as active during the day as they are at night. Though diurnal in a sense, their subterranean lairs, combined with their diminutive stature at ten inches or less, make them easy to miss. Nocturnal screech owls are even harder to spot, combining life after dark with a size similar to burrowing owls. That said, their gray coloring and pint-size appearance do nothing to diminish their stature as sentinels of the night.
Every owl is beautiful. Every raptor is beautiful. Every animal is beautiful, and each has its own purpose in life. Without a voice to speak for themselves, they make the best case for their own survival by being living embodiments of nature’s wonders. Liberty Wildlife’s education birds do just that, and our owls, representing species so rarely seen, may just be the perfect birds to wow the public into action. After all, one of the best ways to strike up passion about a cause is to show people the things they never even realized were at stake.