Owls are incredibly interesting animals, aren’t they? They’re subjects of folklore and myths all over the world and have been closely assocatied with magic since being featured in movies like Harry Potter!
While I’m not sure about the magic part, they’re certainly quite mysterious and mystic looking.
And they’re certainly elusive creatures as well! They’re primarily nocturnal so you would usually only see them at night and, unfortunately, humans aren’t known for our keen night vision.
However, a cat owner in Belgium recently spotted an owl in their yard, which was having a spook off with their house cat who was outside.
The owl was all puffed up and trying to scare off the cat as it was slowly backing up.
Talk about an intimidating sight! It’s a defense mechanism for some owls to appear larger than they are to try and scare off would-be predators.
It’s really interesting to see how much fluff they’re hiding and how much larger they can make themselves appear by showing it off!
You can guess from the cat’s pose that it wasn’t having the best time looking at it either, especially so close!
Luckily, the owl flew off once the owner came outside.
Owls have been known to fly off with hares and even small dogs, let alone cats. We can’t forget that while owls can certainly be quite cute and often wise looking, they are birds of prey first and foremost and they don’t feel bad about making a meal out of our house pets!
That’s not to say that you should be worried about your pets being snatched the moment you turn your head.
These occurences are still quite rare and your pet still needs to spend time outside. If you notice an owl hunting in your area, then it might be wise to accompany your pet outside at night to help keep it safe.
But you should know all of the predators in your area.
How else to properly protect your furry friends and be prepared for even the rare happenings?
Owls especially are ones you need to look for rather than listen!
AskNature explains how owls fly so silently:
“[…] the leading edge of the owl’s wing has feathers covered in small structures that project out from the wing. One hypothesis is that these serrations break up the flowing air into smaller flows that are more stable along the wing. Furthermore, this change in airflow patterns also appears to reduce the noise of the flowing air. The wing’s serrated leading edge appears to be most effective at reducing noise when the wing is at a steep angle—which would happen when the owl is close to its prey and coming in for a strike.
“These smaller airflows then roll along the owl’s wing toward the trailing edge, which is comprised of a flexible fringe. This fringe breaks up the air further as it flows off the trailing edge, resulting in a large reduction in aerodynamic noise. Then, any remaining noise that would be detectable by the owl’s prey is absorbed by velvety down feathers on the owl’s wings and legs. These soft feathers absorb high frequency sounds that most prey, as well as humans, are sensitive to.”
Silent flight like that might explain how these two ran into each other so suddenly!
You can and SHOULD watch the video below to see this massive owl slowly backing away from this cat and get a sense for the tension between them. It’s a quick watch!
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