How Do Owls Use Echolocation?


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LJ Bee Profile
LJ Bee answered
I suspect you got your information from Jack Hannah. I have heard him say this and cringed as I listened. As much as I admire Jack Hannah, both for his enthusiasm over and love of animals and for his showmanship on the TV screen, I advise you to double check any and all information you get from him. Most of it is usually right, but sometimes he says some things that are way off. He is aware of this, too, and jokes about it. I heard him say once that a lot of people call him a "walking encyclopedia of misinformation." He does a lot as an animal ambassador, so you got to love him for his efforts, but you got to double check his info, too.

Owls do not have echolocation! Their ears are set-up quite differently from most animals, even birds, which gives them highly developed hearing quite unmatched by most. They can pinpoint not only the direction of their prey on hearing alone, but can also pinpoint the distance between them and that prey - both with amazing accuracy! Their ears are offset, the opening on one side is higher than the other and larger as well. This is what gives them their amazing sense of audio detection. From yards away in the air above, they can locate a mouse by its muffled squeaks beneath 2 feet of snow!

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