MARTYN F. CHILLMAID / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARTYN F. CHILLMAID / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Long-eared owl (Asio otus) turning its head. Like all owls, it cannot move its eyes in their sockets, so turns its head to look around. Despite its name, the tufts on top of its head are not ears, just tufts of feathers that make the owl look larger to rivals. The long-eared owl is found throughout the temperate northern hemisphere. It roosts in trees by day and hunts over open country by night, mainly using sound to hunt for rodents. The circular facial disc acts to focus sounds to its true ears, which combined with its silent flight makes it a very effective stealth hunter. It may reach more than 35 centimetres in height and have a wingspan of nearly a metre.
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