The owl has always been a very mysterious animal that arouses our interest. However, what you might not know is that the silent flight of owls is almost imperceptible, unlike several other birds in the area. Do you want to know why? Well, I’ll tell you all about it below!
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What an owl’s flight is like
So if you like birds and have ever stopped to watch them, you must have noticed that the flight of birds makes some kind of rustling noise.
This is because the wings move so that they generate enough energy for flight. However, the flight of owls is quite different.
This was studied a few decades ago, when it was discovered that this bird is one of, if not the most inconspicuous that can exist.
Why owls fly so quietly
Many people may believe that owls have a special flight technique or strategy. However, this is not quite true; the secret lies in the plumage.
While the feathers of several other birds produce a trailing edge sound, the study by Jaworski and Nigel Peake brings some new information on the subject.
This study, conducted at Cambridge University in the UK, stated that owl feathers have a very porous surface that seems to absorb and also reduce sound.
Of course, this could explain why they don’t produce a louder sound than other types of birds.
But this does not explain why the wind created by the movement does not move anything under or around their wing. Well, that is a second factor that was discovered in the study that has to do with the front of the bird’s wings.
They have very stiff feathers that can comb the air. And in this way, the sound is reduced as much as possible when there is movement.
However, there is more!
In addition, the owls’ wings have a kind of protective coating. There is a waxy substance that coats all the feathers.
This wax absorbs sound, like when you have a carpet on the floor.
The roughness of this surface seems to absorb the sound and muffle it to an almost imperceptible level. In this way, its flight actually becomes extremely quiet.
When the owl lands, it makes a noise that is imperceptible to human ears, even more so when it flies away. However, a computer analysis has made it possible to perceive these sounds.
There is no doubt that this bird, which has gone unnoticed for years, has once again surprised us with a curiosity. Furthermore, this discovery can be used by science for some technological advances, such as aircraft noise reduction.
After all, no matter how much we may create or discover, nature is always ahead of us. The incredibly quiet flight of the owls is evidence of this observation.