RE: [canberrabirds] Symb–OWL–ism | National Library of Australia

To: "'David McDonald (personal)'" <>, 'CanberraBirds' <>
Subject: RE: [canberrabirds] Symb–OWL–ism | National Library of Australia
From: Philip Veerman <>
Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2016 23:54:08 +0000

Yes Penny clearly likes to write drawing together information from all over the place. But I wonder at this quote from there: “These owls have asymmetrical skulls, with one ear opening higher and larger than the other; sound arrives at (minutely) different times at each ear. The Barn Owl’s feathery facial disc captures, amplifies and funnels sounds to the ear openings. If the owl hears prey and turns its head so that the sound arrives at the same time in both ears, its prey is immediately in front of it.”. Is that really true? The connection between the 1st & 3rd sentence is surely that the asymmetrical ears means that it is the slight offset and the bird’s ability to move its head and judge so well, or judge that time difference, rather than being immediately in front, that gives the greater perception. The issue being that if the sound is immediately in front, then it is not equal on both ears and that tiny difference is how it can locate it.




From: David McDonald (personal) [
Sent: Friday, 2 December, 2016 9:47 AM
To: CanberraBirds
Subject: [canberrabirds] Symb–OWL–ism | National Library of Australia


Penny Olsen has written a delightful piece on owls, beautifully illustrated, with a focus on Powl, in the first edition of the National Library's new digital magazine, Unbound:

David McDonald
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