Megan Marples, CNN
Published on Friday, February 9, 2024 at 12:30 pm EST
Last updated Friday February 9, 2024 12:36 pm EST
Magnificent owl. No, wait, Super Bowl.
Instead of Super Bowl information, one small typo later and your search results will be filled with owl content. And we would like to encourage you to lean into error. Because owls are truly “magnificent.”
These birds are a long way from football, but over the years the trend has gained significant popularity. So much so, that every year many people flood the Internet with photographs of owls before the Super Bowl. (And you know what a meeting of owls is called, right? A parliament.)
This Internet phenomenon puts these feathered creatures in the spotlight, which ultimately helps raise awareness, said Matt Williams, conservation director for The Nature Conservancy’s Indiana chapter.
“I say anything that helps spread the message about the importance of conservation is a good thing,” he said.
An icy predator
Owls are quite interesting. Some people think they are innocent balls of fluff, but that couldn’t be further from the truth, Williams said via email.
“Owls are voracious predators that hunt primarily at night using a very acute sense of hearing to help locate their prey,” he added.
Its disc-shaped face directs sound to your ears, allowing you to hear quieter noises, Williams said. Their feathers are designed to make them almost completely silent when flying, a useful trick for sneaking up on prey, he added.
Most owls are content to feast on small mammals like mice and shrews, said Seth Magle, director of the Urban Wildlife Institute at Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo.
Some larger owls like the great horned owl It can catch rabbits, skunks or even other owls, Williams said.
See an owl in the wild
Your experience with owls is not limited to the Internet. In previous years, communities across the United States have hosted educational events about nocturnal animals.
The Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, will host an owl event on Sunday.
The center will have resident owls on display and people will be able to dissect owl pellets, which are the undigested parts of their food that they regurgitate.
Why not venture outdoors this weekend to meet these fascinating creatures? It will be hilarious.
Now meet some magnificent owls.
There are over 250 species of owls and we would like to introduce you to some of our favorites.
Many people think that all owls hoot, but that is not the case. The great gray owl does not hoot, Williams said, but rather makes a series of low-pitched “hoos.”
He long-eared owl It can be found in grasslands and wetlands, unlike most other owls that live in forests, Williams said.
barred owls They are vocal birds that can often be heard making the traditional hoot, said Charles Eldermire, leader of the Bird Cams project at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.
great horned owls They are known for their iconic ear tufts and cat-like eyes, Eldermire said.
The burrowing owl lives its life unlike most owls. Instead of being active at night and living in trees, this bird spends the day awake and lives on the ground, Magle said.
This report is an update of a 2022 article.