If you’re a small animal wandering in a moonlit forest, better watch out—it’s possible you’re being stalked by a silent killer.
Most humans already consider owls to be perfectly spooky Halloween symbols. A loyal pet owl from a certain magical book franchise has helped soften the birds’ public image in recent years, but thanks to their ghostly plumage, piercing eyes and eerie calls, the presence of a nearby owl can send chills down the spine of even the most seasoned outdoor explorer.
While owls may be somewhat spooky to humans, they’re downright terrifying to woodland animals. Owls are true creatures of the night and have adaptations to their wings and feathers that suppress noise, allowing these stealthy raptors to hunt their prey in almost complete silence, with no flapping or rustling from their soft wings.
And once these predators have spotted their prey, it’s time to hunt. With sharp beaks and hooked talons, species like the barred owl can take down nearly any animal smaller than themselves, including skunks, opossums, squirrels, frogs, lizards, raccoons, mice, voles, snakes, bats, insects, earthworms, fish and other birds. By the time they realize they’re being hunted, it’s too late.
Owls: they’re silent as the grave.
Not creepy: Gila Monster