Photo: Long-eared owl looks caught in the act

39 of 1159
39 of 1159

Look at this beauty! Photographed by Tony LePrieur in Calgary, Canada, this long-eared owl is gracing us with a typical long-eared owl expression: A mix of "WHAT?" and "OH!"

Long-eared owls have two things assisting them in their classic look of astonishment. The namesake long ears, for starters; an animal's pert ears tend to reflect a state of curiosity and alertness. Or ... surprise! In addition, those giant round pupils set in those big round eyes help in achieving the look. The first lesson in drawing human eyes is to avoid a look of shock by not making the irises perfectly round. Since eyelids generally cover the top and sometimes bottoms of the iris, the only time they are full circles is when the eyes are wide open, as in a look of surprise. And while those big eyes might help an owl see well in the night, they provide the birds' admirers with yet another delightful feature to marvel at.

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.

WHAT'S HOT ON FACEBOOK