Message Snowy Owl
LeeAnn McLaneGoetz McLaneGoetzStudioLLCcom
Photograph - Photography
Seven Ponds Nature Center
Wildlife Recovery Association
Snowy Owls, like many other birds, swallow their small prey whole. Strong stomach juices digest the flesh, while the indigestible bones, teeth, fur, and feathers are compacted into oval pellets that the bird regurgitates 18 to 24 hours after feeding. Regurgitation often takes place at regular perches, where dozens of pellets may be found. Biologists frequently examine these pellets to determine the quantity and types of prey the birds have eaten. When large prey are eaten in small pieces, pellets will not be produced.
Harry Potter's owl Hedwig is a Snowy Owl. She's a female but, in the movie, the actors playing her are males. You can tell that the owl playing Hedwig in the photo is really a male because his plumage is so white--female Snowy Owls have dark markings. Females are also bigger and heavier, and so would be a little harder for human actors to handle. Claws that can kill a large duck through thick feathers can be pretty hard on human arms, too, even when the owl is just trying to balance itself.
October 30th, 2011
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