The owl is a predatory bird that is found on every continent except Antarctica. There are over 200 species of owls, which inhabit a variety of terrestrial environments, including deserts, mountainous regions, open grasslands, and woods. Owls are very often seen around farms and villages. Certain owl species are threatened with extinction as a result of habitat loss, illness, and hunting.
Interesting Owl Facts
1. The size of the owl varies according on the species. The smallest owl (Elf Owl) weighs barely one ounce and is five inches in length. The largest owls (Blakiston’s Fish Owl and Eurasian Eagle-Owl) may weigh up to 10 pounds and have a 6.6-foot wingspan.
2. All owls may be classified into two broad categories: barn and genuine owls. Barn owls are medium-sized birds with a heart-shaped face, long legs, and talons that are quite powerful. Only 19 species of owls are included in this category. True owls are a more varied group of owls, with around 190 species varying in size, color, and appearance.
3. Owls are carnivores. They feed on rodents, small animals, birds, fish, and insects, among other things.
4. Owls do not chew their food, as do all other birds, since they lack teeth. If the prey is too huge, the owl will break it apart with its powerful beak.
5. Because the owl consumes the whole meal, it regurgitates (vomits) the undigested parts in the form of hard pellets made of bones, fur, feathers, and teeth. Ornithologists (bird scientists) collect and analyze these pellets in order to determine the diet of the owls that live in a certain location.
6. Barn owls are very valuable to farmers because they eradicate vermin from barns and fields. Each year, it may consume up to 1000 mice.
7. Owls are very effective hunters because of their ability to fly quietly. Soft feathers of a special kind suppress the sound of the bird’s wings moving, enabling the bird to approach the prey undetected.
8. Coloration of feathers is species-specific. It comes in a variety of colors including brown, gray, rust, white, and black. The combination of hues creates an effective concealment for both predators and prey.
9. Certain owl species have ear-like projections on their heads. They are unable to detect sound, but act as camouflage structures. They may also be used to demonstrate aggressiveness.
10. Owls have exceptionally great hearing. Ears are positioned behind the eyes on both sides of the head. They are often situated at varying heights to enhance sound reception, which is critical for prey discovery.
11. Although it seems as if the owl can swivel its head entirely around (360 degrees), it can only do so to a limited extent (just 270 degrees). While an owl can gaze beyond its shoulder, it is unable to fully swivel its head.
12. Owls are farsighted, which means they cannot see properly what is directly in front of them.
13. Owls are loners. Although they do not reside in groups, the term “owl parliament” refers to a gathering of owls. They are territorial creatures that hoot to establish their presence. Not all owl species have the ability to hoot. Apart from the hoot, owls communicate using a range of other noises, including hisses, screeches, and screams.
14. Between a few and a dozen eggs are laid by owls (between 3 and 4 eggs in general). They are white and round in shape. Eggs do not hatch simultaneously.
15. Owls in captivity have a lifespan of 20 years.