Zeus is a blind Western screech owl whose eyes look like the night sky.
He was diagnosed with conjunctivitis, corneal degeneration, endotheliopathy, and anterior uveitis, most likely caused by a traumatic event like flying into something or being attacked by a predator.
His general condition is a capsular cataract and the white flecks that glisten in his eyes are the result of fibrin and blood pigment clots. These pigments cause a unique appearance that some have described as a “view of the Universe” quality in his eyes, which he is now well known for.
Zeus’s condition does not cause him pain and he’s otherwise completely healthy.
For those of you who marveled at little screech’s disguise…here are some different angles. His ability to blend into both the colour but also the textures and patterns of the tree bark are simply astonishing. I love nature. Click to enlarge for great detail.
It’s not easy to get owls to mug for the camera. Even in captivity the birds remain aloof, unruffled by the flash and unmoved by attempts to bribe them. Photographer Brad Wilson learned that lesson firsthand after trying to win over owls from the World Bird Sanctuary in St. Louis and The Wildlife Center near Española, New Mexico. He spent hours with each bird, trying to
capture its direct gaze. “It’s hard to get animals to look at you like
humans do,” he says. “That shot became my holy grail.
Owls keep little snakes as their pets.
Eastern screech owls bring blind snakes
to their nests to rid them of larvae and
parasites so their babies will grow faster
and stronger. The snakes don’t seem to
mind, because they hang around and eat
like crazy until the nestlings hatch and
then slither back down to find a new
home underground. SourceSource 2