The toes and tarsi are feathered in some species, and more so in species at higher latitudes.Numerous species of owls in the genus Glaucidium and the northern hawk-owl have eye patches on the backs of their heads, apparently to convince other birds they are being watched at all times. Numerous nocturnal species have ear-tufts, feathers on the sides of the head that are thought to have a camouflage function, breaking up the outline of a roosting bird. The feathers of the facial disc are arranged in order to increase sound delivered to the ears. Hearing in owls is highly sensitive and the ears are asymmetrical allowing the owl to localise a sound in multiple directions.
Owls can pinpoint the position of prey, such as a squeaking mouse, by computing when the sound from the object reaches the owl’s ears. If the sound reaches the left ear first, the mouse must be to the left of the owl. The owl’s brain will then direct the head to directly face the mouse. In addition to hearing, owls have massive eyes relative to their body size. Contrary to popular belief, however, owls cannot see well in extreme dark and are able to see well in the day.
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