Their keen sense of hearing has nothing at all to do with the tufts on top of their heads, however. Contour feathers are instead useful for things such as flight and conservation of body heat. Owls have excellent hearing, and can even hear prey hiding in snow. Many owl species have feathered feet to protect them from cold weather. T he feathers are specialized to have downy feathers that cowl the surfaces of the wings minimize sound when they’re being flapped. “Owls do have very long legs,” he says. It seems a common trait. Owls live in many different environments but have evolved in order to stay near the top of the food chain. Together these funnel the air smoothly over the feathers and reduce the sound. Owl Feet & Talons. This helps to maintain a smooth air-flow across the wings and thereby avoid stalling at very low airspeeds. If they do, they fear they may loose their powers. Owls have soft-edged wings to silence their motion. Owls also have a third type of feather, known as contour feathers, that are found everywhere on the owl’s body except in the facial ruff, but do not at all assist in the ability to localize sounds.

“They do look much more upright than I would expect. An adaptation is a characteristic that helps give an owl species its best chance at survival. Most owls belong to the group of so-called true owls, with large heads and round faces, short tails, and muted feathers with mottled patterns. Owls certainly have wing feathers built for flight. The remaining dozen-plus species are barn owls, which have heart-shaped faces, long legs with powerful talons, and moderate size. Behind their ears, they have modified, dense feathers … The wings of the owl have tailored for silent flight, as one of the unique barn owl adaptations. Since people believed owls predicted victory when one appeared before battle it signaled triumph. First, the leading edge or front edge of the feather looks like a comb. With an Owl’s wing, the comb-like feather edge breaks down the turbulence into little groups called micro-turbulences. Owls are able to fly so silently for a combination of reasons, says Scott Weidensaul, an owl expert and contributing editor at Audubon. Feathers. T he feathers are specialized to have downy feathers that cowl the surfaces of the wings minimize sound when they’re being flapped. Owl Talons. The feathers may also serve to sense contact with prey, and to protect against prey that might bite when seized. Order: Strigiformes - from latin strix meaning owl. The owls’ feathers are very soft – another adaptation for quiet flight; The flight feathers are covered in a thin hair-like structure that traps air within the feather surface. OWL FLIGHT IS SILENT. Images of the owl often decorated warriors' shields.

So, owls have asymmetrically placed ears, so that one ear picks up sounds about 30 millionths of a second faster than the other. Owls are birds from the order Strigiformes, which includes over 200 species of mostly solitary and nocturnal birds of prey typified by an upright stance, a large, broad head, binocular vision, binaural hearing, sharp talons, and feathers adapted for silent flight. An owl's foot has four toes. Unlike most birds whose flight feathers have straight edges which make a sound as they move through the air, those of the owl have comb-like, fringed edges that interlock to form one continuous edge, eliminating the rustling sound as they move. The stealth-hunting owl also served as a protector to Greek armies. Behind their ears, they have modified, dense feathers … But others saw owls as predictors of death.

These feathers are kept silent by a covering of downy feathers that absorb much of any remaining sound. Owls have a success rate of around 85%, a return that many other birds of prey would kill for. They have the reputation of "silent flight" due to this trait. 4. (The “ear tufts” on some owls are feathers.)