Who doesn’t smile for an owl? Especially when they’re as crazy, fun, and spirited as this bunch! (Don’t forget to have your speakers on for the sprightly music as well…)
Owls may seem to have a lot of crazy behaviors, but each one does serve a purpose. When an owl is rotating its head, it is moving the position of its ears or eyes to get a better view or to better capture sounds. Puffing up is a behavior to keep warm or to intimidate competition or predators. The “dancing” is another way for an owl to reposition its ears for better hearing. Ducking down into a burrow is protective behavior to hide from potential predators. And owls – like many other animals – can be very tactile, and bond through mutual preening and stroking (both with their wild partners as well as with human rehabilitators and handlers).
And of course, anytime you’re able to see these behaviors, particularly in wild owls, it’s another reason to smile!