Field Guide to Owls of California and the West (California by Hans Peeters

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By Hans Peeters

So much owls are nearly completely tailored to lifestyles at nighttime. Their vaguely humanoid faces mirror the surprising evolution in their listening to and imaginative and prescient, which has made flight, romance, and predation attainable within the close to absence of sunshine. This obtainable advisor, choked with exciting anecdotes, covers all 19 species of owls happening in North the US. greater than an identity advisor, Field advisor to Owls of California and the West describes the biology and behaviour of owls to make discovering and determining them more uncomplicated and looking at them extra stress-free. The advisor additionally explores the conservation demanding situations that owls face and tells how owls supply insights to scientists operating in fields from expertise to health and wellbeing.

  • Color plates illustrate every one species
  • Range maps convey the western distribution of North America's owls, 14 of which take place in California
  • Offers guidance for locating and staring at owls
  • Gives details on easy methods to layout, position, and continue nest boxes
  • Describes human attitudes towards owls via background, together with in local American cultures of the West

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Additional resources for Field Guide to Owls of California and the West (California Natural History Guides, Volume 93)

Sample text

Sandbathing and dustbathing have also been observed in Long-eared Owls (Nuijen 1992). These dry baths kill AN OWL’S BODY 45 Peeters-1:v. 6/15/07 9:20 AM Page 46 parasitic arthropods; dust particles destroy the exoskeletons of such pests through friction between the plates of the exoskeleton. The boreal Northern Hawk Owl has been observed bathing in snow (Cade 1952). Parasites Anyone who has handled a wild-caught or road-killed owl is probably familiar with odd looking, very flat bodied flies that scuttle at speed from under the feathers; they may slip back equally fast into their hiding places, or scurry onto the human’s hands or fly off.

An Owl’s Head The enormous-appearing head of an owl looks like it should be full of brains. It is not. The skull is conspicuously broad, providing the large eyes with room to face forward and at the same time widely separating the ears (not to be confused with the ear tufts projecting above the head), which facilitates differential hearing (see “Hearing” section). A thick but light layer of sound-muffling feathers makes an owl’s head appear even larger, particularly in species that have a well-developed facial disk, which, as a structure associated with 12 AN OWL’S BODY Peeters-1:v.

Some species raise small groups of feathers selectively (left, Northern Pygmy-Owl), large feather groups, including parts of the facial disk (center, Northern Saw-whet), or specialized, enlarged feathers arising from the disk (right, Western Screech-Owl). hearing. Tufts are sometimes also called “ears,” as in Long-eared Owl (Asio otus), or “horns,” as in Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus); they are neither. Part of the facial disk, but usually distinct from it, are two curved fans, composed of bristlelike feathers (rictal bristles) that project forward and down from below the eyes and partly surround the beak.

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