Though I definitely considered an Octopus, I was taken with the eyes of this baby owl so we ended up here instead. I learned that the eyes of an owl are not true “eyeballs.” Their tube-shaped eyes are completely immobile, providing binocular vision which boosts their depth perception and allows them to fully focus on prey. This also gives them a perpetual stare that’s rather creepy and unnerving at times.

The popular name for a group of owls is called a parliament which dates back to the 1950’s when C. S. Lewis used the term to describe a meeting of owls in The Chronicles of Narnia. I guess this was because owls are often associated with wisdom, and perhaps there was a time when human politics were also associated with the same. Another tidbit I found interesting is that Boreal owls are usually monogamous, but when mice are plentiful and childcare becomes easier, they become promiscuous, with males mating with up to three females. Not to worry as fair is fair. Females usually have at least one guy on the side as well during this time.

As if the immovable eyes weren’t strange enough, owls can also rotate their heads 270 degrees. What’s super weird is that in order to pull off this feat they have a special blood-pooling system. This allows them to conserve enough blood to power their brains and eyes while their neck movement totally cuts off their circulation. A small inconvenience, I guess, when this feature makes you an insanely great hunter. Next up is “P” in this alphabet adventure, so if you have a suggestion, let me know in the comments!

About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Quinacridone Gold, Azo Orange, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, and Titanium White Gouache. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink and second Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon sepia ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal

Posted by:Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world!

48 replies on “O Is For Owl

  1. It is darling! ❤ Owls are such awesome creatures (just stay away from our chickens). My son has a thing for the Blakiston's Fish Owl, but I pretty much love them all. 🙂

    The obvious choice for P is penguin, of course, but pangolin would be kinda fun to doodlewash, too!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great information Charlie…I did not know any of these fascinating facts. I love that baby owls have big heads and feet too. And when was that time when politics had wisdom?…
    ..but more than enough of politics I think.
    Pig gets my vote. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Magical doodlewash, Charlie – perfectly befitting the owl! Cor, you’ve got the unnerving stare down (and I didn’t know that about their eyes – nor indeed most of the rest. Those five-minute sessions working wonderes 😉 )They are so fascinating. I’ve heard them when wandering in the dark, but never actually been lucky enough to see one… one day, hopefully!

    P is for Penguin! How did I not think of that! Pug. Python. Pelican. Puffin. Polecat. Panther.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jacob!! Yeah…I’ve only seen one in the wild once when it was dive bombing a rabbit outside the window. Owls are intriguing. And yeah…5 minutes is about all you need to learn anything! Lol Nice list!! In this one I had to look up Polecat… Cute! Also says it’s primarily noted for ejecting fetid fluid when threatened! Yikes! Ewwww! Lol

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha wow, I had no idea about that! So like us 😉 There was a neighbour who had two of the things (or were they ferrets – I’ve no idea!). Seeing someone out walking their pet polecats was a fun departure from the norm!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. What a hoot – owl that is! 😃 I have a book on owls I find them so fascinating. Their eyes are amazing and so is your painting! 💕👍🎨 YAY Charlie!! 😎 How about a platypus for P, pretty please?! Hehe! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww thanks Jill! 💕😃I think owls are fascinating as well! Glad you liked my version! Hehe And you always pick the animals with the best names! I love platypus…but not sure if they’d be a fun doodlewash in the style I’m painting these. I’d want to make it a purple platypus. Oh well….someday! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Cathe!! 💕😃 He was super fun to doodlewash. I see people sketching owls and had never drawn one in my life so I figured I’d give it a try. 😊 And I do try to stay with reputable sources in my 5 minute research sprints so I think these facts are all true! Hehe


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