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XCX Glossary

A

adaptation
a change in structure, function, or behavior in which a species or individual improves its chance of survival in a specific environment
adaptation
physical structures, characteristics or behaviors that allow an organism to survive and reproduce in its particular environment
asymmetrical
not identical on both sides of a center line

B

bird of prey
carnivorous bird (hawk, falcon, eagle, etc.) that kills and eats small mammals and other birds
branching
young owlets before they are ready to leave their parents care will climb around on tree trunks and branches before they can fly

C

camouflage
something that makes an animal, person, building etc. difficult for enemies to see, to blend in against the background
carnivore
an animal that eats other animals
crepuscular
active during twilight

D

defensive posture
a posture most often used by young owls that are not ready to fly, used threatened
diurnal
usually active in the daytime

E

ear-tuft
a tuft of feathers above the eyes of some owls and other birds, causing them to look larger and helps them blend in with surrounding foliage.
erect posture
A posture used by owls to stretch themselves as tall as they can with their ear tufts standing straight up

F

facial disk
cup-shaped depressions that give the face a heart shape
flammulated
having a reddish color

H

habitat
a habitat is the place where a plant or an animal lives

I

incubation
the act of warming eggs in order to hatch them, as by a bird sitting upon a clutch of eggs in a nest
irruption
occurs when a large number of a species move to an area where they are not commonly found in large numbers, often in response to drought, rainfall or other environmental changes

M

migration
the movement of all or part of a population of animals
Minerva
in Roman legends, Minerva is known as the daughter of Jupiter and as the goddess of wisdom, medicine, the arts, dyeing, science and trade, and also of war

N

nestlings
a baby bird before it is about 3 weeks old
nictitating membrane
a transparent third eyelid hinged at the lower lid of the eye of raptors, and closes laterally across the eye
nocturnal
an animal that is active at night

O

ornithologist
a person who studies birds and bird behaviors
owlet
a young owl

P

Pallas Athene
often referred to as Zeus' favorite child she is described as the Greek goddess of wisdom, however in most Greek legends she is described as the patron of household arts and crafts like spinning, weaving and textiles
pellet
after owls digest their food they regurgitate or spit up a ball of the harder materials that is not digestible known as pellets
plumage
the feathers on a bird
predator
an animal that lives by preying on other animals
prey
an animal that is hunted or seized for food by a predator

R

raptor
a carnivorous (meat-eating) bird
rod cells
rod cells are responsible for helping to see in low-light situations
rufous
reddish; tinged with red; brownish red

T

talon
the claw of an animal - especially a bird of prey
tapetum lucidum
this is also called "eyeshine" - the bright reflection due to a reflecting layer immediately behind the retina of the eye of many animals
territory
an area occupied more or less exclusively by an animal or group

V

visual field
total area where objects can be seen in the peripheral vision while the eye is focused on a central point

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