It’s a cold, clear winter’s night. You’re out walking in the moonlight, and the only sound you hear is the snow crunching beneath your feet. That is, until you hear that familiar, plaintive call in the distance. If you’re lucky, you may even hear a gentle call back. Listening in on a conversation between owls under the glow of a full moon is truly special. And, in the Adirondacks, surrounded by snowy mountains, it can feel like pure magic.
But besides their familiar hoot and elusive nature, there is much more to owls than meets the eye. Here are a few interesting facts about this bird of prey, courtesy of the NY Falls website.
Learn about owls of the Adirondacks:
- Owls always wear camouflage. That’s because their feather patterns have adapted to help them hide in trees. Many owls have feather patterns that actually resemble the bark of the type of tree they typically roost in.
- Owls abound in New York. Eight species of owl make their home here: the Common Barn Owl, the Barred Owl, the Great Horned Owl, the Long Eared Owl, the Short Eared Owl, the Northern Saw Whet Owl, the Eastern Screech Owl and the Snowy Owl.
- Owls are global – almost. There are only two places in the world where owls aren’t found – Greenland and Antarctica.
- Not all owls give a hoot. They make a variety of noises, including beeping, screeching and hissing. Many species of owl make all different sounds.
- Owls are loners. Most of the time, owls prefer solitary existences. But when they gather in a group, they’re known as a parliament. How regal!
- Owl pellets are gross – but interesting. If you ever notice grey, furry, walnut-sized balls at the base of a tree, congratulations – you’ve found owl pellets. These are the indigestible remains of their meals, and are of fur, bones, feathers and scales. Sometimes, an entire rodent skeleton can be found inside an owl pellet!
- Owls keep it clean. They take regular baths in puddles, shallow bodies of water and snow, and even are known to take showers in the rain!
Going on a birdwatching adventure in the Adirondacks is a great way to spot an owl.
If you’re visiting the Adirondacks, you’re most likely to spot a Northern Saw Whet Owl, an Eastern Screech Owl, a Long-Eared Owl or a Great Horned Owl. And, be on the lookout for the aforementioned owl pellets – if you find them on the ground, it’s likely that the owl you seek is nesting above. Of course, you can find owl-inspired goods at the Speculator Dept. Store, along with other Adirondack animal-themed items. Stop in and visit us to see our entire selection of household items, souvenirs, children’s toys, clothing, jewelry and more.