Through revelatory new behavioural research, Jennifer Ackerman provides an intimate glimpse into these magnificent creatures’ lives. From the evolutionary quirks behind their silent flight and rotating heads, to their romantic relationships and parenting styles, What an Owl Knows brings the rich natural history of owls to life. Deftly weaving together science and art, Ackerman journeys into the owl’s moonlit world and asks: what is it about these birds that so enthralls us?
What an Owl Knows
For millennia, owls have captivated and intrigued us. Our fascination with these mysterious birds was first documented more than thirty thousand years ago in the Chauvet Cave paintings in southern France. With their forward gaze and quiet flight, owls are often a symbol of wisdom, knowledge, and foresight. But what does an owl really know? And what do we really know about owls? Though our fascination goes back centuries, scientists have only recently begun to understand in deep detail the complex nature of these extraordinary birds. Some two hundred sixty species of owls exist today, and they reside on every continent except Antarctica, but they are far more difficult to find and study than other birds because they are cryptic, camouflaged, and mostly active in the dark of night.