Sometimes Camouflage Doesn’t Work

My last post was about camouflage, but the truth is, sometimes even the best camouflage can fail you, and you become lunch (well, in this case, a dusk-time breakfast for the baby owls inside the nest box). Here one of our screech owl parents is delivering to their owlets what appears to be a walking stick insect.


It always amazes me what incredible nocturnal hunters owls are, but especially screech owls. It’s easy to imagine larger owls hunting bigger active animals, such as rats, rabbits, and even skunks. But screech owls bring home caterpillars, worms, lizards (including diurnal ones that theoretically shouldn’t be quite as active at night but perhaps are), scorpions, centipedes, and apparently stick insects. Sure, I can still imagine some of those being reasonable prey, but caterpillars? Some of them barely move (relatively speaking) and often blend in among bark, foliage, etc.

Owls, I am impressed and quite jealous of your superior eyesight and stealth ability. I shall continue to watch you exhibit your skills for those few minutes at dusk when I can still see you before the darkness takes over and my limited nighttime vision fails me. Oh, to be an owl!

Edit: My friend Justin reminded me that this video of awesomeness exists. For your viewing pleasure, and thanks to its creators:

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