The wide eyed, round faced raptors- Owls are mysterious creatures. Famous for being night birds, owls are one of the most interesting living creatures.
There are as many as 200 species of owls around the world! Most of them are found in Asia while 19 are found in the US and Canada.
Many owls have asymmetrical ears. Their ears are located at different heights on their heads, so it makes it easier for them to comprehend the location of multiple sounds.
Owls are found in different kinds of habitat, except in Antarctica. They are mostly found in forested regions.
Have you noticed how wide an owl’s eyes are? Owls actually don’t have eyeballs. Their eyes are long and shaped more like a tube, which restricts them from moving them in their sockets.
Owls have binocular vision to help them focus on their prey, perceive the depth and then swoop on it. Their close vision is not as clear which makes them farsighted.
Owls can rotate their necks at 270 degrees, 135 degrees on either side.
An owl has 3 eyelids- one for blinking, one for sleeping and one for keeping its eyes clean.
Owls are carnivores. They eat rodents, small and medium sized mammals, insects, fish, and other birds. Sometimes they even eat smaller owls!
Owls have zygodactyls feet, this means two toes point front and two point backwards. All toes have sharp, hooked claws known as talons. These give them easy grip and a powerful grasp.
Female owls are larger, heavier and more aggressive than the males. They are also more richly coloured and have a higher voice.
Not all species of owls are nocturnal. Many times you might just spot an owl in the day peeping out from its home on the tree. When there is a shortage of food, owls may hunt at anytime during the day.
The Elf Owl which is only 5-6 inch tall is the tiniest owl in the world. The Great Gray Owl which is 32 inch tall is the largest of all owls.
The colour of an owl’s feather helps him camouflage or mix with the environment.
Owls have broad wings and very light bodies which makes them silent fliers.
All species of Owls do not hoot. They make other sounds like screeching, whistling, growling, rattling, even barking and hissing.