Photo: Dr. A.K Mukherjee

KEOLDEAO NATIONAL PARK, RAJASTHAN, INDIA.

The little owl.

Revered by the ancient citizens of Athens as the sacred mascot of Athena (the Greek goddess of Wisdom), the little owl is a formidable predator capable of surviving in heavily populated environments as out in the wild.

Powerful binocular vision, coupled with ears that can detect sound ten times greater than humans, wings that silently cut the air when swooping down on unsuspecting prey and a pair of talons that can shred flesh and bones with ease earns it a fierce reputation as a bird of prey known to tackle adversaries, larger than its self.

One of the easiest way to identify it is by its white bushy eyebrows and one of best place to spot it is the dense woodland of the Keoldeao National Park.

Home to numerous species of aviators and a heaven for bird watchers and ornithologists who flock into this world heritage site in winters to get a little wiser about the birds and their ways. For visitors, the reserve is open throughout the year.