Instead of panting, tongues out, in the way dogs do, snowy owls perform what's called "gular fluttering." The owl's neck muscles undulate, sending hot air up and out the bird's mouth. That's not the only way birds beat the heat: Other avian species stay hydrated, stick to the shade or rely on large bills to cool down, too.
McGowan describes the snowy owls as if they were covered in an incredibly warm down sleeping bag. "They spend the winter at the top of the world," McGowan says - the thermostat in a rehabilitation clinic might be set a little cozier than the snowy owls would prefer.
Even though birds aren't capable of smiling (or Ron Swanson-like laughter), that doesn't mean they are precluded from feeling emotion. Evidence is spotty, but there are a few reports, such as a 2010 study of ravens in the journal PLOS ONE, that indicate birds can feel empathy after a flock member dies.