When owls bob their heads, they're not trying to be creepy

When Owls Bob Their Heads, They're Not Trying to Be Creepy

Have you ever wondered if owls are just naturally creepy or if they're intentionally trying to weird us out with the way they move their heads?

Well, a recent BirdNote podcast helped explain exactly why owls bob their heads like that.

"All of these varied head movements help the owl judge the position and distance of things around it, essentially to triangulate on objects," said Mary McCann.

Owls' eyes are actually in a fixed position, so all those odd head motions help them see their surroundings better. But this isn't exactly a new discovery.

As a 1988 Stanford University paper put it, many bird species bob their heads to determine how far away something is by judging how fast objects move across their field of vision — the closer the object, the faster it crosses their field of vision.

But owls aren't the only birds that do this. Falcons, hawks and other species frequently bob their heads to gauge how far away their prey is. See? Not so weird after all.

Take a peek at this adorable owls:

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