Owl Howl Friday November 1, 2019 · 7:00 p.m. – 9 p.m. · $7
Niagara Parks is teaming up with the Canadian Raptor Conservancy to bring you Owl Howl, an evening exploration of the beauty and mystery of owls. On November 1, interact with live owls and discover the unique predatory life of these magnificent nocturnal birds of prey. Enjoy an ‘owl talk’ led by an expert and learn how owls’ evolutionary behaviour, vision and hearing helps them survive in complete darkness. The evening will conclude outdoors where you will have a chance to practice your best owl call. You might hear a response!
Children five and under are free. Rain or shine event.
Your owl encounter awaits!
Hunters by Nature
Owls have proportionately large eyes to accommodate the ocular structure necessary for nighttime vision. Although night hunting is typical of owls, they can also see well in daylight.
Owls’ wings account for the largest surface area relative to the body structure of other bird species. The size of their wings allows them to fly slowly and silently using only shallow wing beats; the downy surface and soft fringed edges of their wings also reduce noise in flight. Their broad wings provide enough lift to carry prey with relative ease. These are helpful characteristics in approaching prey.
Owls rely heavily on hearing to precisely locate prey; their ears are so sensitive that environmental noise can cause them to stop hunting. A thunderstorm or a snowmobile, for example, can have this effect.
The owl’s wide head positions the ears far apart, which helps it easily estimate the horizontal location of a sound surface–that is, from side to side just as we use our ears. To catch prey, however, the owl must simultaneously determine the horizontal location and distance to arrive at the precise location of prey animals within microseconds.
Food Supply and Survival
Availability of prey animals fluctuates in cycles of abundance and decline, especially in the Arctic. When prey is scarce, northern owls often move into southerly regions.