Hiding in plain sight is the key to an owl's survival.

by Chris Anderson on September 28, 2020

Did you see the owl right away? 

Camouflage is an adaptation that allows animals to blend in with their surroundings. It’s a key to survival for both predators and prey. 

Owls have two major methods of camouflage: 

  • Feather pattern

  • Tufts

The colors and the pattern of their feathers help them hide in plain sight. Snowy owls are white to blend in with their snow-covered habitats, while great horned owls have brown markings that allow them to disappear against a tree trunk. 

Tufts are feathers that stick straight up from the head. They may look like ears, but they’re not! They resemble branches or twigs and are perfect to blend in with a tree. Not all owls have tufts, though. Those that don’t will raise the feathers on their face to try and get the same effect. 

For prey, camouflage helps them stay hidden from predators. For predators, it helps them make sure that their presence remains a secret. If they’re noticed by prey, they may warn others that there’s a predator in the area. 

Can’t get enough of owls? 
There’s so much to learn, we couldn’t possibly fit it all in one email! So explore more for yourself with one of our posters or an owl pellet pack