Trivia Tuesday: Screech Owls

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Every Tuesday we'll share a few fun animal facts with you from experts all over the country.

Today's expert: The Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Zoo Education Team. The zoo educators at Busch Gardens believe in “edu-tainment,” and each day, this team finds new ways to teach guests about the more than 2,000 animals that call the Florida theme park home, including the screech owl.

  • Owls can turn their heads 270 degrees. Owls have no muscles in their eyes and can’t move them to look around. To make up for it, they can turn their heads in many different directions to see the world around them.
  • Owls have small brains. The adage of the wise old owl is actually wrong. With their eyes so big, the owl doesn’t have much room left for the brain. In fact, if our eyes were proportioned like a screech owl’s, they would be the size of cantaloupes.
  • Male owls are smaller. The female screech owl is larger than the male, but the male owl has a deeper voice.
  • Owls cannot chew their food. Instead, they swallow their food whole and cough up what they can’t digest. These pellets help scientists by providing insight into the owl’s diet.
  • Owls can fly silently. Owls have serrated wing tips, or fringes, that help them fly silently. This makes them excellent at diving for prey.

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