People Are Finding Out That Some Owls Sleep With Their Faces Down

Yes, young owls nap with their face down. Yes, they look unbelievably cute and as if they just got back from a night of heavy drinking at the same time. And yes, probably 99% of people wouldn’t even have known about it if it wasn’t for the journalist Mark Rees catapulting sleeping owls into internet stardom with his viral tweet. Now owls are getting famous without putting any effort into it, and some influencers are probably incredibly jealous.

I've just discovered that baby owls sleep face down like THIS because their heads are too heavy. Also, I don't think I've seen owl legs before...

Sleeping baby owl.

#TuesdayThoughts: baby owls sleep like baby humans; a few hours at a time mostly during the day. Baby owls also show high levels of REM activity during sleep. As they get older owls seem to dream less...

Sleeping owl.

To be honest, we couldn’t back up or dismiss Rees’ explanation that the young owls sleep like that because their heads are too heavy. All that we know is that they really do nap like this. The National Audubon Society, for example, published a heartwarming story about two Barred Owlets who had fallen out of their nest. After the babies were put back into the tree, their rescuers observed how they were recovering. “Keeping their talons tightly gripped on a branch, the owlets lay down on their stomachs, turned their heads to the side, and fell asleep. Their naps are short, and when they are asleep, they do not like to be awakened, even to be fed,” the article said.

Sleepy baby owl.

Interestingly, a young owl doesn’t fall out of the tree while it snoozes because it holds onto the branch with its back toe, the hallux. The hallux will not open or let go until the bird bends its leg.

Sup?

Sleeping owl.

Teenage owl sleep habits are way outside my lane, but I found (less hilarious) confirming accounts.

I haven't found the original source for this pic, but it's also suggests owls sometimes sleep laying down. Although I haven’t found any other ground face-plants or science articles on teenagers being top-heavy unstable sleepers... Any bird peeps want to confirm or debunk?

Sleepy owl.

Sleepy owl.

Sleepy owl.

Sleepy owl.

Baby owl sleeping.

Sleeping owls.

Sleepy owl.

Sleepy owl.

Sleepy owl.

Sleeping owl.

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9 Comments

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  1. arry pooter June 25, 2020

    #1 sure is dead

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  2. Anonymous June 25, 2020

    OMG I died from the cuteness overload.

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  3. Anonymous June 25, 2020

    SOOOOOOOOOOOOO CUTE

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  4. Anonymous June 25, 2020

    animals are such a gift – this always lifts the spirits, extremely cute

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  5. Anonymous June 26, 2020

    is #1 dead?

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  6. Anonymous June 27, 2020

    #1 looks like a crime scene.

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  7. Anonymous July 1, 2020

    I’m already obsessed with owls how did I not know this HOW? How did i live this long not having any idea owls could get even cuter? im filled with joy and rage at the same time and feel as if I may topple…face….to … th

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  8. Mum July 4, 2020

    Amazing. I want one x

  9. j July 16, 2020

    thank you for the enlightening photos and information

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