White-faced owl, 2020, oil on canvas, 30 x 40 cm
The white-faced owl has the characteristic ‘owly’ ear tufts. It is a small bird that is largely grey with a white face and bright orange eyes. The eye colour of owls generally (but not always) reflects if the owl is nocturnal or diurnal. The darker the eyes, the more often this owl hunts by night. The lighter the eyes (generally bright yellow), the more likely this bird hunts by day. The white-faced owl hunts during dusk and in the night, despite it having orange eyes. Its plumage resembles tree bark, which makes it nearly impossible to see with untrained eyes (or for mice).