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image credit: Dan Harrod
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Habitat: southern Africa
Least Concern

The Southern White-faced Scops Owl (Ptilopsis granti) looks like your average owl. The eyes are extremely alarming, but not out of the ordinary for such a noctural bird of prey.

However, the Scops Owl has a couple of tricks up its feathers that make it one of the most unique birds I’ve ever seen. When faced with a larger predator that threatens the owl, the bird will enlarge its body by fanning out its wings (first half of the video) in an attempt to exaggerate its appearance and frighten its foe.

The best defense mechanism, though, is without a doubt the “tree branch technique” the owl uses when a super scary animal approaches it. The bird will tuck its feathers close and almost shrivel into a smaller, twig-like version of its former self. The result is a terrifyingly skinny evil owl disguised as a branch! Amazing!

You must watch the video below, taken from a Japanese television show. The owl is named Papo-chan 🙂