|Carolyn's photo. No tracks leading in or out... but look how|
deeply the talons drove down into the snow.
|Jacqueline's photo. I love the fact that the|
owl has left an almost perfect 'face plant' in the snow
Owls are incredible hunters. In winter, their prey -- often mice -- are underneath the snow. Often fairly deep underneath the snow, hurrying here and there through little tunnels, insulated from the wind and the worst of the weather. Invisible.
The owl's face is designed to catch sound and channel it to the slightly offset ears -- which lets the owl identify with scary accuracy the origin of the sound. The acute vision isn't much help when dinner is hidden under the tablecloth, so to speak, but those ears... well... they'll do quite nicely, thank you very much.
On absolutely silent wings (the feathers are fringed and make no noise coming through the air) the owls swoop in, and strike talon-first into the snow. They'll drive in hard, because they have to get all the way down to where the mouse is unsuspectingly roaming along.
|you should visit this website -- there are amazing|
The result is often these remarkable impressions, an entire story of tragedy for the mouse and triumph for the owl, written on the snow. That is one of the wonderful things about winter -- you can get such a good look at the wildlife, by learning about their tracks. How they live, where they go, how they hunt...
It's another great reason to Take Back Winter. Especially during March, as Spring creeps ever closer and the temperatures get mild, being outdoors is an absolute joy.