Cindy, our brilliant, caring Bird Care Director at RAPTOR, Inc., is a never-ending source of interesting bird of prey knowledge.
Some of the cool things she has sent to my Inbox:
Plumicorns (another name for ear tufts on owls).
Peregrine falcons have ridges on their feet that are as unique as fingerprints.
The latest cool info, this time about screech owls:
We all know that screech owls are found just about everywhere in North America: The Eastern species lives from the Atlantic to the Rocky Mountains, and the Western species lives all along the west coast from Canada to the Baja peninsula and into Mexico, found as far east as the western border of Texas.
Well, in areas of the screech owls' range where the Blind Snake lives, screech owls have been known to bring back live blind snakes to the nest. All the other prey is brought back to the nest already dead, but the blind snakes are allowed to live in the nest.
They will feed in the nest debris, eating soft-bodied insect larvae and other critters from the decomposer community in fecal matter, pellets and uneaten prey.
Studies have shown that nests that contain blind snakes have a higher nestling survival rate than in nests without them.
What does all this mean?
Screech owls call in their OWN EXTERMINATORS.
Bird brains? I think SO.