On a moonless night, an owl relies on its sharp hearing to track its prey. It can hear the faint rustling sounds of a mouse nibbling seeds or tunneling in the snow.

At first glance, you wouldn’t think an owl has such excellent hearing: its ears are hidden under feathers on the sides of its head. In many species, like the boreal owl pictured, one ear sits higher than the other, so sounds arrive at each ear at a slightly different time and intensity. This helps the owl pinpoint where the sound is coming from, so it can hunt in complete darkness!

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