Sometimes referred to as the “phantom of the forest,”  this perched great gray owl intently listens and watches for prey.  With a unique and keen sense of hearing this owl can hear a vole under 2 feet of snow from 100 yards away.  This is achieved through a couple of adaptations.  First, it has offset ears that help in triangulating sounds. Second, it’s facial disk (the feather structure around it’s face) is a concave shape which funnels sound to it’s ears.

Taken in the Sax Zim Bog, Minnesota February 2022.

                 All Images Copyright Marshall R. Mahler Photography 2002-2022

“Gray Ghost”