February 22, 2012

Welcome to Writing Wednesday! Every week there is a new opportunity to publish your own creative writing on the Seymour Science blog. This week, we are asking you to describe this barn owl in flight.

  Background: Most owls have broad wings which have quite a large surface in comparison to the rest of their bodies. These large wings make it easy for an owl to glide for a long time without a lot of flapping, and they also allow the owl to fly quite slowly - so that it can hunt for prey on the ground below.


When a normal bird flies, the air rushing over its wings makes a lot of noise, kind of a "whooshing" sound.   But owls have feathers called "flutings" on the leading edge of their wings. These feathers are almost like a comb, and they comb through the air as it rushes over the wings, breaking it up and muffling the sound. Because of these special wing feathers, a huge owl can glide almost silently through the forest, watching and listening as it searches for prey.

Your Assignment: Look at this photograph of a barn owl in flight and write a paragraph that describes the bird’s silent search for its prey.


Tips to Make Your Writing Powerful:

  • Set the scene by appealing to your reader’s senses and imagination. You could write about what it feels like to soar through the air, what the world looks like from up there, or describe the "sound" of the silence.
  •  Include descriptive details about the owl, or about its prey on the ground below.
  • Use strong verbs to capture the action of the scene. For example, instead of saying the owl is "flying," you could use an action verb and say it is "darting" or "swooping."


When you are finished with your paragraph, click on the yellow "Comments" at the bottom of this post to enter your writing.

Happy writing!



Photo: Major Gilbert

Posted by: Seymour Simon

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