Amazing owl's eye sight and hearing abilities

Amazing eyes of an owl.

Amazing eye sight

The owl's eyesight at night is a hundred times more acute than that of humans.

Even in the diffused light from the moon, an owl is able to capture its prey. 

Human eyes have cells called cones that separate colors and cells called rods that gather light, but the owl’s eyes are packed tight with rods that contain a chemical known as visual purple. 

This converts the faintest glimmer of light into a chemical signal that gives the bird a sight impression, whereas humans see just the presence of light.

Owls cannot rotate their eyes in their sockets as most animals can. 

Each eye is fixed like a car headlight. 

To compensate, the owl—thanks to an amazingly flexible neck—is able to rotate its head at least 270 degrees to see in all directions!

Amazing hearing ability

It has been said that from its perch 50 feet [15 m] up in a tree, an owl is capable of not only seeing a mouse but also hearing it rustling in the grass. 

Its amazing ability to hear comes from the design of its ears. 

If you look at the face of an owl, you will see that it is ringed by stiff curved feathers that collect and reflect sound waves to the ears, bouncing the sound onto the largest eardrums in the avian world. 

The ears are set one slightly higher than the other, allowing the owl to pinpoint sound accurately.

Once the owl has located its prey—whether by sight or sound—it will swoop silently. 

Even the wing feathers have downy edges to eliminate whir when in flight. 

On a dark night, country folk have at times been frightened by the glowing form of an owl swooping low along the road. 

Unknown to them the owl can glow with a phosphorescence rubbed onto its feathers from luminescent fungi that grow on the rotting wood of its nest—a delightful sight!