Great Horned Owl
One time I was driving home from college downstate in Urbana back to Chicago along highway 57. The sun has just begun to set, and the sky was pink and orange. I glanced to the side of the road at one point and was stunned to see the largest bird I had ever seen, sitting on a telephone pole. I stopped the car to take a closer look and then saw the large ear tufts and yellow eyes as it rotated its head ala Exorcist style to look at me. Is there anyone that doesn't think owls are kick ASS? Show them to me, and I will show you a liar! Having the opportunity to prepare one as a specimen was a privelage, and gave me an intimate look into how it has evolved to be a creature of beauty, stealth and power. An interesting fact about Great Horned Owls is that they are one of the few beings that will actively hunt skunks (not so great if you happen to be working on an owl that just had one for lunch.).