Saturday, April 06, 2013

Gular Fluttering 8:00 am 4-6-13

Owls don't have sweat glands so to cool off from the heat or stress, they pant. This is called "gular fluttering." Their gular sac (kind of a throat pouch) is pumped in and out, moving air in and out and cooling them. A really hot owl will also slick down it's feathers (so they don't hold so much warm air), and a really, really hot owl will also droop its wings to get air movement in the wingpits for additional cooling. The gular sac is also expanded during hooting, when the bill is shut.


  1. Which sound is the owlet? I heard a woodpecker drumming and a sandhill crane calling. Maybe they were both the owlet. He/she looks like a miniature Big Bird. Too cute.
    You might like looking at the Wildlife Center of Virginia critter cam. They have a GHO owl in rehab and keep a camera on it in its enclosure. It is being introduced to a surrogate owl but so far he can just look at the adult owl through glass. The owlet is fed by someone wearing an owl mask.

  2. Good question! The owls don't make any noise when they pan/gular flutter.