If you think birds are universally beautiful, consider this face. I’d say it’s full of character!
Two centuries ago, a taxonomist named it Podargus strigoides, which in my rendering from Latin means ‘the owl who stands watchful.’ But it turns out to be more closely related to nightjars than owls. Not uncommon, and sometimes found in parks and gardens, it often goes unnoticed in daytime, resting perfectly still and camouflaged on a branch. But as darkness falls it becomes active, catching flying insects on the wing in a mouth as broad as a frog’s.
[Friday posts suspended while the author is abroad]