Owls: The Silent Aerodynamic Hunters

White Owl - wash and ink
My art: A study of snowy owl in ink and wash.
My Art – Owl. Acrylic on canvas.


Above are two  of many artwork I created, purely because I love owls and I find them very interesting.

Growing up in my culture, owls have been linked to death. If you hear an owl consistently calling or crying then, death is near. This was the belief. An owl crying or calling is quite rare but when it does happen, it is quite scary.

Unusual visitors

In some Brisbane (Australia) suburbs and out where we live, there are a few species of owls. The most common one is the Frogmouth. My family and I have had several occurrences with owl visits that I find very interesting and hard to understand. Once we had three owls come into our garden and sit for three days in the same spot. There was another incident where two large owls appeared at the front of our house and sat on a very low dead tree. They must have arrived before we woke up. At first, we thought they were part of the branches of the dried tree trunk. These two sat in the same position for almost a week. I went up very close to them one day and the taller of the two opened its eyes and glared at me – so I left. I hope to find their photos that I took that day and post it here in the future. Despite my cultural learning and spiritual beliefs about these birds, I find them especially interesting because of how quiet and often secretive they are. Sometimes, you don’t know they are there. They can camouflage very well.

Snowy owl picture from http://www.sodahead.com

Many owl species have developed specialized plumage to effectively eliminate the aerodynamic noise from their wings — allowing them to hunt and capture their prey in silence. Almost a year ago, a research group started working to solve the mystery of exactly how owls achieve this acoustic stealth — work that may one day help bring “silent owl technology” to the design of aircraft, wind turbines, and submarines. I found this small clip on reddit.com. Click the link below to see the wing action.



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