Thursday, December 23, 2010

Slow Motion Barn Owl Video

Posted by Kirk
The video I posted a year ago that featured a slow motion view of the flight of a Eurasian Eagle Owl continues to get lots of views so I thought people would enjoy watching another slow motion video I came across recently. This is a slow motion flight video of a Barn Owl.

Barn owls are incredible even compared to other owls. Like other owls, their facial disc functions as a giant sound collector. This allows them to hear very faint noises. Their actual ears (located just behind the eyes) are not at the same height as one another. Just as having one ear on each side of our head has allows humans to have a good sense for whether sound is coming from the left or right, the unequal placement of the ears on the Barn Owl allows it to also determine if sounds are coming from above or below with great accuracy. Experiments have shows that Barn Owls can catch mice in absolute darkness by using only their hearing. This is an incredible feat.

Just like the last video, people will probably wonder how on earth someone captured the images below. This is clearly a captive owl. As it flies over the camera, look closely at the legs and you can see the jesses or ankle bracelets used to tether the bird when it is not flying.