This is one of a series of paintings that uses the owl to explore ways of knowing. This handsome owl perches atop his page of a birding book with stillness and poise in the dark of night. He bows his head as though to express goodwill and blessing. Bene- ("well") and -diction ("to speak") literally translates to "speak well of". The barn owl (Tyto alba) is a silent nocturnal hunter with a ghostly white plumage and distinct heart-shaped face. It gives a thin shriek rather than the expected hoot of other owls. Barn owls are a welcome site in any farmer's field: a single owl can hunt over 1,000 mice in a breeding season.