Page 7 - The Shores of Jupiter- November '23
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The Shores, Page 7
      Book Review

      What An Owl Knows: The New                         an owl do this, adjust its                          One chapter,  Who Gives a Hoot, includes the
      Science Of The World’s Most                        facial disk when it hears                         experiences  of  researcher  Karla  Bloem,  who  devoted
                                                         something interesting.
                                                                                                           an extensive amount of time studying variations in owl
      Enigmatic Birds                                    It’s like the disk itself is a                    language at just one site:
                                                         kind of aperture, an ‘eye,’                          “After hundreds of hours of meticulous observation,
      By Nils A. Shapiro                                 that opens wide to let in                         Bloem managed to characterize and describe fifteen
        Author Jennifer Ackerman                         more sound and bounce                             separate vocalizations: six sorts of hoots, four types of
      could just as well have                            it toward the ears.”                              chitters, and five kinds of squawks, including an alarm
      retitled her book What We                            note: The use of the                            squawk like an eerie shriek. She also noted that the owls
      Know About Owls, packed                            term “ears,” in owls, even                        have nonvocal communication. When they’re fearful or
      as it is with many hundreds                        in such species names as                          agitated, they’ll hiss or clack their bills.”
      of fascinating facts about the                     long-eared owls or short-                           Perhaps the  major  reason  why  owls  are so  popular
      260 owl species to be found                        eared owls, is confusing.                         worldwide is their most instantly recognizable feature as
      throughout almost every                            The actual ears used by                           the only bird whose big round eyes face forward, like ours,
      continent, from the tiny elf                       owls for listening are                            in the front of their faces. All other birds’ eyes are situated
      owl, the size of a pine cone                       vertical slits on the sides                       on the sides of their heads.
      only a few inches high, to the                     of their heads.                                     But unlike we humans, who can move our eyes left and
      massive Eurasian eagle-owl that can take down a deer – or     Owls are nocturnal, hunting at night for prey that includes   right with a limited degree of peripheral vision in order to
      Blakiston’s fish owl, the world’s biggest owl, the size of a   most commonly – depending on the owl species and size –   see what is happening on each side of us, an owl’s eyes
      fire hydrant with a 6-foot wingspan!               rodents, insects, mice, rabbits, squirrels, possums, lemmings   are fixed facing forward. However, they make up for that
        The  recipient  of  numerous  awards  and  fellowships   in the case of snowy owls, and other small mammals and   by being able to swivel their heads around in a way that
      and author of five earlier successful books – including   birds. Because of their incredible hearing, and the fact that the   we cannot:
      The Bird Way and national bestseller The Genius of Birds   unique design of their wings enables them to swoop down on     “While it’s a myth that owls can rotate their heads
      – Ackerman’s own awe and appreciation for the skills   prey in complete silence, they are among the natural world’s   from a starting point facing forward, some species, like
      and natural physical attributes that these extraordinary   most efficient hunters. They do not even have to be able to   Great Grays and Barn Owls, can turn their heads almost
      creatures have evolved over the 100 million years since   see their prey in order to be successful!  three quarters of the way around, 270 degrees – three
      they have existed on this planet is clear from first page     “A Great Gray Owl is listening, always listening. Its   times the twisting flexibility humans possess … that an
      to last. The following brief passages serve as examples,   head rotates to glean the source of a sound. Its ears are so   owl’s neck can move swiftly and smoothly through those
      some of the text has been omitted for lack of space here,   acutely tuned, it can discern the faint footfall of a shrew   270 degrees of rotation is due to some clever adaptations,
      and been replaced by ellipses (…):                 in the forest, the wingbeat of a Canada Jay, the muffled   a loose S shape that gives it flexibility, and a system of
        “With a head designed for listening … the flat, gray   rustle of a vole tunneling deep beneath the snow. It will   bones and blood vessels that minimizes disruption of
      head disk of a Great Gray Owl is like one huge external   fly to the spot, hover over it, head facing down toward the   blood flow through the neck to the eye and the brain
      ear, a feathered satellite dish for collecting sound … The   sound, then just before impact thrust its legs forward and   when the head rotates.”
      facial disk in owls that hunt primarily by sound is outlined   punch through snow more than a foot and a half deep to     And I haven’t even touched upon an owl’s vision, with
      with a ruff of stiff interlocking feathers that capture sound   seize its prey.”                     its ultraviolet spectrum.
      waves and channel them toward the ears, like people     But Ackerman has equal respect for the professional     There is so much more here to enjoy, and from which
      cupping their hands around their ears. Feathers in the   scientists, students and volunteers who often dedicate years   to learn. Plus 50 black-and-white photos and a section of
      back of the disk direct high-pitched sounds toward the   of their lives under the most incredibly difficult physical   full-color photos that add greatly in helping you to identify
      ears, so the owl hears less noise from its surroundings   and stressful conditions worldwide, studying every aspect   different owl species.
      and can focus on prey cues.                        of owls’ lives in order to build the base of knowledge that
        “(The owl) can even change the shape of the disk by using   will help protect the survival of owl species at a time when
      muscles at the base of the feathers, shifting from a resting state   many are at risk of extinction due to climate change and   it’s the law!
      to the alertness of an active hunt. It’s remarkable to watch   other human influences.
                                                                                                            did you Know that, in


                                                                                                            By Adam S. Gumson,
                                                                                                              Did you win the
                                                                                                            lottery?  Print  your
                                                                                                            name on the back of the
                                                                                                            ticket and complete the
                                                                                                            information  requested
                                                                                                            there  immediately. A
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                                                                                                            is like a check: Anyone
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                                                                                                            Don’t make any other alterations as doing so could delay
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                                                                                                            being the mother. Sadly, less than one-half of those
                                                                                                            awarded  child support actually collect the full
                                                                                                              Naming a beneficiary in your will or trust does not
                                                                                                            guarantee that the beneficiary receives the particular
                                                                                                            asset because a valid Beneficiary Designation Form
                                                                                                            (“BDF”) takes precedence.
                                                                                                              So,  make  sure  that  your  BDFs  align  with  your
                                                                                                            present wishes or the beneficiaries in your will/trust
                                                                                                            will not receive the assets in those particular accounts.
                                                                                                              A  guardian is a surrogate decision-maker
                                                                                                            appointed by the court to make either personal and/
                                                                                                            or financial decisions for a minor or for an adult with
                                                                                                            mental or physical disabilities. After adjudication, the
                                                                                                            subject of the guardianship is called the ward.
                                                                                                              Jupiter  Law  Center  is  a  private  neighborhood
                                                                                                            law firm located in the RiverPlace Professional
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