The owl is a fascinating creature, different from all other birds in so many ways, with an eyesight and especially a hearing way better than most animals.
Read about the different types of owls, about their special
hearing using the facial disc as kind of satellite disc, and a
There are many types of owls, including the great Gray owl, the Eastern screech owl, the pygmy owl, the northern spotted owl, and the snowy owl.
There are over 200 different species of owls, which are divided into two groups:
The owl uses to catch and eat its prey, which means that it falls into the 'raptor' category of birds.
Other birds that fall in the 'raptor'
category include the hawk, the falcon, and the eagle.
these other birds, most owls are mostly nocturnal birds.
Nocturnal means that the owl prefers to hunt at night when the other birds of prey are sleeping.
For this reason, owls can live peacefully in the same territory as other birds of prey because the owl is not competing with the other birds of prey for their food.
Seeing as the owl sleeps during the day and hunts at night, there is little chance that the owl will encroach on the territory of the other predatory birds nearby.
There are 19
different species of owls living in North America, 12 of which can
be found nesting in the central state of Idaho.
Nesting means that the birds actually live in a certain region, rather than just passing through for mating or migration.
The great Gray owl is the
largest owl found in North America, with the great Horned owl being
the owl that weighs the most.
In North America, the pygmy owl is the smallest species of owls.
The majority of the owls that live in the
world today tend to be nocturnal, however, there are a few
exceptions to the rule.
For example, pygmy owls and burrowing owls both like to hunt during the day, making them diurnal creatures.
The great horned owl is most active around dawn and dusk, making it a crepuscular animal.
So despite the stereotypes of owls only hunting at night, there are certain parts of the world where you can actually see owls hunting during the daytime.
Owls will basically eat anything they can get their talons on.
Seeing as they are predators, they eat small animals according to
The small owls like pygmy owls or saw-whet owls will usually hunt for mice and shrews, as they are too small to hunt larger game.
Voles and mice are the two dinners most commonly consumed by the average owl, and owls can actually benefit humans by keeping the population of these rodents down.
Large owls tend to hunt larger prey, such as squirrels, wood rats, voles, and rabbits. The larger the owl, the larger the prey it tends to hunt.
Great horned owls sometimes even catch skunks for dinner, as well as
bats, fish, toads, scorpions, snakes, frogs, lizards, and even other
The great horned owl is often known for fishing for its dinner, and it is not uncommon to see an owl swooping down and dipping its talons into the river to pull out a fresh fish.
Due to the fact that many farmers consider mice to be a pest, owls
are often seen as a blessing for farmers who are trying to control
the number of mice present on their farms.
One barn owl must consume roughly 79 pounds (36 kilos) of mice per year.
This adds up to nearly 800 pounds (400 kilograms) of mice during the 10 year lifespan of the average owl.
At roughly 1 ounce (29 grams) per mouse, an owl ends up eating nearly 13,000 mice during its entire life.
Seeing as how mice need
to eat roughly 10% of its body weight each day, the number of mice
an owl consumes during its lifespan equals roughly 15 metric tons of
food less being consumed each year.
Owls are usually fairly sedentary creatures, who prefer just to hang out or snooze on around the clock.
Owls have few natural enemies, as they are fairly mild mannered creatures that tend to mind their own business.
Humans are responsible for 96% of the
deaths of owls around the country.
The Great Horned Owl’s primary enemy is other Great Horned Owls, and most other owls have few enemies.
Seeing as they are 'raptor' predators, there are few other predators that attack them.
Let's get down to the fun owl facts:
Did you know that:An adult snowy owl can eat as many as 1,600 lemmings per year, or 3 to 5 lemmings per day.
A group of owls is known as a parliament. (A funny reminder of how grave and serious owls appears to be.)
Owls are able to twist their necks and turn their heads up to 270° without ever having to move their shoulders.
Owls have three eyelids. The upper lid and lower lid function like regular eyelids, but there is a third layer of tissue that moves from the inside of the owl’s eye to the outside. This third eyelid is designed for cleaning the eye.
Owls appear in hieroglyphics found in Egypt, and they can be seen depicted in 15,000 to 20,000 year old paintings on caves in France.
in the olden days were very superstitious about owl.
If an owl hooted three times on the left side of a hunter, the hunter would immediately stop what he was doing in order to avoid bad luck.
Many people believed that the hoot of an owl was responsible for illnesses like tonsillitis, and pregnant women were afraid of birth complications if they heard the hoot of an owl as they were giving birth.
Others believed that hearing an owl hoot indicated that someone was about to die, and would throw salt into a fire in order to prevent the 'bad luck' associated with owls.
Of course this can not be considered owl facts today :-)
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