The owl that was once called white-faced scops owl and is sometimes better known as “The Transformer Owl” (we’ll get to that later) has been split into two different species (by the deciders of species (some scientists)) because their different coloration and range. There are two species recognized species now, the Northern and the Southern white-faced owls. Northern and Southern refers to Africa, where the clever, orange-eyed, white-faced night birds live.
Now why is the owl called “The Transformer”? Well, the owl has very clever strategies when faced with possible adversaries (see the video below). When faced with small-to-medium-sized opponents, the bird will present as large a presence as possible by extending its wings and feathers, attempting to give their opponent a little taste of shock and awe. But on the other hand, if the perceived threat is too big to risk any confrontation, then the strategy the owl chooses is to make itself as long and thin as possible while squinting in hopes that the larger opponent will think that the owl is a tree branch.
orange eye clever owl
Transformer owl in action
The owl is not very large, 9 – 11 inches (22 – 28 cm) tall, but does have some distinctive characteristics. First off, it has large orange eyes, that stand out from its white face and mostly grey body with black streaks and markings. Also, it has short-medium ear tufts. It eats mostly insects and spiders, and also small rodents and birds.