Anyone who has spent much time observing birds can attest to the inaccuracy of "bird brain" as an insult. But one bird often mythologized for its wisdom may not be as brainy as we think. Says Zuckerman: "Actually a fascinating fact is that owls are not particularly wise, due to the size of their eyes taking so much of their brain space. If our eyes were the same ratio as an owl's, we would have softballs for eyes."
The northern white-faced owl is found in Africa between the Equator and the Sahara desert. Thanks to its appearances on Japanese TV shows, it's now most popularly known for its shape-shifting defense mechanism.