The shape of an owl’s eye is tubular, not round like ours, so the eye cannot be turned in its socket. This means the owl must turn its whole head in order to see to the side. The amazing thing is that an owl can turn its head 270 degrees in either direction. That means the owl could look to the left by turning its head to the right, rotating the head three-fourths of the way around. They don’t usually do that, of course, but this photo shows a Barred Owl turning its head 180 degrees to look behind it. One reason owls can do this, and we can’t, is that they have 14 vertebrae in their necks and we have only seven. This gives them a lot more flexibility.