Baby Owls Sleep Face Down Because They’re Too Top Heavy

Photo credit: Twitter

The Internet was surprised to learn that baby owls sleep face down and look like a person crashed out after a night of heavy drinking.

Like most babies, owls are born with heads too big for their bodies. As their heads are too heavy to hold up, they can only sleep in one position.

When this image first surfaced online in a meme, no one was sure of its authenticity, but it turns out to be true.

And more pictures of sleeping baby owls laying on their tummies have since sprung up.

According to IFL Science, adults sleep standing up because they are better proportioned—their bodies can support their heads—but the babies struggle with that support until they can grow into their own bodies.

The National Audubon Society also weighed in on the photo with excerpts from its BirdNote podcast. One listener, Joseph Clark, described finding two young Barred Owlets on the ground near his home in East Haddam, Connecticut. They had fallen out of their nest and were being eyed for dinner by some circling ravens.

Clark got the babies back in their nest with guidance from the Connecticut Audubon Center, who told him to stick around for a bit and make sure they were safe and sound. He watched as the babies nodded off and saw firsthand that they slept on their stomachs with their heads turned to one side.

The Audubon Society also tells us that their naps are short, and they don’t like to be woken up for any reason, even food!

Have you ever seen an owl or its babies close up? Let us know in the comments below!