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Barn owls

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Old Tuesday 29th May 2007, 13:13   #1
Mary
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Barn owls

I've been glued to the BBC Springwatch webcams on their website, and seeing the Barn Owl chicks is wonderful! Does anyone know if they have specially adapted vertebrae in their necks to enable them to turn their heads back to front [i]and[i] upside down? It's almost as if they have a 'ball and socket' joint there!
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Old Tuesday 29th May 2007, 17:29   #2
rozinante
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This is something I have been looking up but failed to find anything specific on the physical aspects. I too would be interested to know about any physical adaptations of the spine.

An interesting pic from some optical research though.
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Old Saturday 2nd June 2007, 00:18   #3
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Barn Owl Can't Fly

This is the last fledgling in the box. I am hoping this Owl will soon be able to leave once it's feathers repair. Please comment
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Old Saturday 2nd June 2007, 21:38   #4
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Originally Posted by Goatnose View Post
This is the last fledgling in the box. I am hoping this Owl will soon be able to leave once it's feathers repair. Please comment
that a bit strange how the one wing has developed quicker than the other. that looks like it will takie another 2-3 weeks at least, before it could think about flying. it isnt repairing its wing, its feathers are still 'in blood' which means they are still developing.
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Old Tuesday 5th June 2007, 03:15   #5
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that a bit strange how the one wing has developed quicker than the other. that looks like it will takie another 2-3 weeks at least, before it could think about flying. it isnt repairing its wing, its feathers are still 'in blood' which means they are still developing.
Thanks Luke. As long as I hear the parents still around at night then I am still hoping for this bird. I am not ready to call in the rehab folks as yet. However since there are no mice remaining in the immediate area I have found a friend who has just tonight said that I could set mouse traps in her barn. Therefore my plan is to bag and freeze mice should the fledgling need them in the near future. The bird was actually attacked by a chicken snake at an early age but somehow managed to free itself. Also I have set out a tin of water and signs are the bird is using it. Thanks again for your reply.
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Old Tuesday 5th June 2007, 08:36   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary View Post
I've been glued to the BBC Springwatch webcams on their website, and seeing the Barn Owl chicks is wonderful! Does anyone know if they have specially adapted vertebrae in their necks to enable them to turn their heads back to front [i]and[i] upside down? It's almost as if they have a 'ball and socket' joint there!
IIRC yes, and their heads can go round 360 degrees, not just 180.

Mike.
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Old Tuesday 5th June 2007, 13:09   #7
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Thanks,Mike-(but what's IIRC,please?!)
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Old Tuesday 5th June 2007, 13:40   #8
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Thanks,Mike-(but what's IIRC,please?!)
Hello Mary

IIRC it means "If I Recall Correctly" :)


Any more on the "mechanics" of this Mike?
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Old Wednesday 6th June 2007, 16:36   #9
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Not the most scientific sources but from here

"It is a myth that owls can turn their head all the way around. Owls have 14 neck vertebrae, allowing them to move their head 270 degrees."

and from here

"...For this reason, an Owl cannot "roll" or move its eyes - that is, it can only look straight ahead! The Owl more than makes up for this by being able to turn its head around and almost upside-down. It is able to achieve this by having a long and very flexible neck, which is not always apparent, as it is hidden by feathers and the Owl's posture. An owl's neck has 14 vertebrae, which is twice as many as humans. This allows the owl to turn its head through a range of 270 degrees - not, as some rumours state, a full circle."
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Old Thursday 7th June 2007, 12:39   #10
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Thanks,Martin. I can imagine that moving their heads like they do will give them the kind of view that we would get by moving our eyes. Fascinating!
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