Anatomy and feather structure in a road-killed Barred Owl


On 20 May 2017, I was out in the early morning and chanced upon a rather freshly deceased Barred Owl that had been struck by a car here in Stillwater, OK.  The bird was in excellent shape so I collected it with the intent of preparing a fresh museum study skin for the Collection Collection of Vertebrates at Oklahoma State University.  When I got it home, however, I noticed that its tail was completely missing and it would not make such a great specimen. Here are some views of it that at least illustrate some Barred Owl anatomy photographically.

You can access video clips and my explanations of feathers and what-not here.

Of course, owl feathers are most fun under UV light: Owls, bustards, and turacos have a class of feather pigments (porphyrins) that glow under UV light.  Here they are in action, with the brightest glow in the youngest feathers.

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