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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Wise As An Owl

This great horned owl is watching you! Are owls the smartest birds? According to trainers that work with them, not by a long shot. Parrots are easy to train and can have extensive vocabularies. Hawks can be taught to retrieve objects. Even pigeons are used in behavioral studies and can be conditioned to obtain a reward by carrying out certain actions. But most species of owls can't be trained to do even the most rudimentary tasks. So why do we have the expression 'wise as an owl'? The most common answer - they look smart. And what makes them look so smart? It's their eyes. An owl's eyes are enormous compared the size of its head. In humans, large pupils are equated with focusing and attention being paid. An owl's large, dark eyes make it look like it is paying attention. Its eyes are also fixed in its head. In order for an owl to move its eyes, it must move the whole head. It gives an owl a intelligent gaze as it scans the surroundings. (..._

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