Photo: Sideways Glance, Owl-Style

Owl sitting on a fence post with head turned sideways

Tony LePrieur / Flickr

Our photo of the day offers a quick lesson in the wonders of an owl. Upon first glance this short-eared owl photographed by Tony LePrieur looks pretty normal ... until you notice that those eyes are stacked up rather than side-by-side, giving this bird of prey a bit of Picassoesque flair. Aside from looking delightfully inquisitive and just very cute, the turning about of an owl's head is really quite a wonder. Given the range of movement – they regularly swivel their heads around 270 degrees – it would seem as if the head is barely attached. They can do this thanks to their unique neck anatomy that works to support their vision. Their large eyes are built a bit like telescopes, which means they are excellent for spotting prey, but they can't move around very much. What to do? Have a super flexible neck and head that can do the moving for them. Would you like to see your nature photo featured as the TreeHugger photo of the day? Join TreeHugger’s Reader Photo Pool on Flickr and add your pictures to the group.