Magnificent owl meme. Photos of owls are flooding the Internet ahead of the Super Bowl
(CNN) Super Cup. No wait, Super Bowl!
Instead of Super Bowl information, one small typo later and your search results will be filled with owl content instead. And we’d like to encourage you to lean into it. Because owls really are “magnificent”.
These birds are far from football, but over the years the trend has gained considerable popularity. So much so that every year many people flood the internet with photos of owls before the Super Bowl. (And you know what a gathering of owls is called, right, Parliament?)
This Internet phenomenon puts these feathered creatures in the spotlight, which ultimately promotes awareness, said Matt Williams, director of conservation for the Indiana Department of Conservation.
“I say anything that helps spread the message about the importance of conservation is a good thing,” he said.
A stone-cold predator
Owls are pretty interesting. Some people think they’re innocent balls of fluff, but that couldn’t be further from the truth, Williams said by email.
“Owls are voracious predators that hunt primarily at night, using very sharp hearing to help locate their prey,” he added.
Their disc-shaped face directs sound toward the ears, allowing the quietest sounds to be heard, Williams said. Their feathers are designed so that they are almost completely silent in flight, a useful trick for sneaking up on their prey, he added.
Most owls are content to eat small mammals such as mice and sharks, said Seth Muggle, director of the Urban Wildlife Institute at Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo.
Some larger owls such as great horned owl can prey on rabbits, skunks or even other owls, Williams said.
See an owl in the wild
Your experience with owls is not limited to the Internet. Communities around the United States have organized educational events about nocturnal animals in previous years.
Leslie Science and Nature Center Ann Arbor, Michigan will host an owl event on Sunday.
The center will feature resident owls, and people can dissect the owls’ pellets, which are the undigested parts of their meal that they regurgitate.
Why not get outside this weekend so you can get to know these fascinating creatures? It would be a panic.
Now meet some awesome owls!
There are over 250 species of owls, and we want to introduce you to some of our favorites.
Many people think that all owls make noise, but this is not the case. It great gray owl Williams said he doesn’t whistle, but rather makes a series of low-pitched hooters.
It short-eared owl can be found in prairies and wetlands, unlike other owls that live in forests, Williams said.
Blocked owls are vocal birds that can often be heard making traditional noises, says Charles Eldermire, director of the Bird Cameras Program at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
Great horned owls Known for their iconic ear tufts and cat-like eyes, Eldermire said.
Burrowing owl lives the opposite life of most owls. Instead of being active at night and living in trees, this bird spends the day awake and makes its home on the ground, Muggle said.
This has been updated from a 2022 article.