Dawn Wakeup Calls Alert Hooter

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There were a lot of critters around the nest this morning, and we captured a bit of the video before the stream had gone live.

This footage may help to answer one of the frequently asked questions: What’s the range of motion of a Great Horned Owl’s (GHO’s) head? Most of the references we’ve seen indicate a range of 270 degrees.

“Great horned owls, like other owls, have eyes that are fixed in their socket. They cannot move their eyes up and down or side to side like humans. To compensate for lack of eye movement they can rotate their heads 270 degrees.”

Source: Holden Arboretum

This would leave a range of about 110 degrees directly behind the bird that couldn’t be observed without turning the body.

In this clip at 1:24 she turns at least 180 degrees to the right. Then 10 seconds later turns about 180 degrees to the left. So I believe this demonstrates at least 360 degrees of motion!


8 Responses

  1. I am student teaching in a middle school science classroom. I decided to introduce this live stream to my students today. They LOVE it! They all asked, “Are we going to watch when the eggs hatch?” We learned about owls and other birds of prey last semester. This is a great tool to reinforce the ecology that our students are learning! Thank you!

  2. My daughter watches this in South Korea and her video is 30 seconds ahead of what we see here at The Landings. Anyone have an explanation?

    • Each computer and browser option receives the stream in it’s own way, and the streaming technology used sometimes requires a buffering delay. iOS devices (iPhones and iPads) require an http stream which arrives in chunks and various size groups of packets, which then need to be put together in the right order and played at the correct speed. This requires a buffer so that even though they arrive in fits and starts, they can be played in a smooth stream. The buffer is just about 30 seconds long. Other browsers can use a Flash player which handles the stream with less delay, but which might be susceptible to hiccoughs when there are transmission delays.

  3. Hello! My children love this. It is 7am here in England, and 2am in savannah. She is sleeping!

    • We’re glad to have you visit! Try looking us up on Google Maps to get an idea of the countryside around here Google this:
      The Rookery
      Tidewater Way
      Savannah, GA 31411
      which is an island in a lagoon where dozens of great egrets nest and raise their young – if you move due east from there on the map (in satellite view), you will see a couple lagoons just before the marsh. These are the lagoons you can see when the camera’s zoomed out. We have 8 to 10′ tides so the marsh is very dynamic and provides the foundation for the food chain here – the owl is an apex predator (they hunt, but no one’s hunting them in general..) Enjoy!

  4. Great thing you are doing! We are so lucky here in Chatham County to have such an active group of wild bird lovers! What a great look into the life of the Great Horned Owl in our coastal community.