July 27, 2015
Transformer Owls – Scops Siblings
- as seen by -Kristen Avery
In just a few weeks, the fluffy white-faced scops owl chicks I had seen in the World of Birds at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo have lost their down and grew into their adult feathers. The pair are still juveniles but will be full-grown in a matter of months. As adults, they only reach about 9 inches in height. How does a small bird of prey defend itself in the wild and avoid predators? As unassuming as they look in the photo above, these owls have some incredible adaptive skills.
To appear larger in size, scops owls can fan out their feathers and lean forward to create a domed plumage. White-faced scops owls also shrink to avoid detection. They elongate their entire body, squint, and take on a V-shape in order to hide within their surroundings.