Latin name: Tyto alba
A Cry in the Night!
- The flight of this bird is perfectly silent. This gives it two main advantages: the improbability of being heard by its preys and low sound interference when detecting its preys in flight.
- Its heart-shaped facial disc acts somewhat like a satellite dish: ambient noises are captured by the heart of the disc to then be directed towards the ears. It is the only bird capable of hunting in complete darkness.
- It can emit a variety of sounds but does not hoot like the majority of owls. It can however produce an unnerving rasping screech.
- In another era, it was used to exorcise or attract demons. It was nailed to one's barn doors to ward off bad luck, or to the neighbor's to bring him bad luck.
- The diminution in the quantity of its preys, notably due to the spreading of pesticides, and the loss of spaces appropriate for nesting, are becoming more and more problematic for this species.