Joined: 19 Mar 2007
|Posted: Sep 04, 2010 Topic Views : 4593 Post subject: Awesome Facts About Owls
Awesome Facts About Owls
Owls are awesome. It's an undeniable fact. They are expressive,
they are diverse, they are stealthy and their heads are on a swivel. Below
you will find 10 interesting facts and a collection of photographs that
capture these beautiful creatures. Enjoy!
Owls belong to the Order Strigiformes. The Order Strigiformes is further
divided into two families, the barn owls (Family Tytonidae) and the typical
owls (Family Strigidae). Owls are a diverse group of birds, with over 220
species of owls belonging to the Order Strigiformes.
Owls are birds of prey. Owls feed on a wide variety of prey including
mammals, other birds, insects, and reptiles. There are even some species
of owls that live in Africa and Asia that feed on birds. Owls cannot chew
their prey since, like all birds, they do not have teeth. Instead, they
swallow small prey whole and must tear larger prey into smaller pieces
before swallowing. They later regurgitate pellets of indigestible material
such as bone, fur, and feathers.
The structure of an owl's foot is referred to as zygodactyl. This means
that two of the toes face forward while two face backward. This
arrangement enables the owls to capture and grasp prey with greater
ease. Sometimes, the third toe can be rotated forward into a position
occasionally used for perching.
Most owls are nocturnal. Most owls are active at night. A few species (such
as the pygmy owls) are active in the early morning or at dusk while some
(such as the burrowing owl and the short-eared owl) are active during the
Owls' eyes are fixed in their sockets. Owls are unable to move their eyes
within their sockets to a great extent, which means they must turn their
entire head to see in a different direction. Because owls have forward-
facing eyes, they have well-developed binocular vision. Contrary to
popular myth, an owl cannot turn its head completely backwards. It can
turn its head 135 degrees in either direction; it can thus look behind its
own shoulders, with a total 270-degree field of view.
Many species of owls have special flight feathers adapted for silent flight.
Owls have developed special feather adaptations that enable them to
minimize the sound made when flapping their wings. For instance, the
leading edges of their primary feathers have a stiff fringes that reduces
noise while the trailing edge of their primaries have soft fringes that helps
to reduce turbulence. Downy feathers cover the surfaces of the wing to
further reduce sound.
Owls create a variety of vocalizations. Owls create a wide variety of
sounds or vocalizations. The familiar hoot is usually a territorial
declaration, though not all species are able to hoot. Other sounds owls
might make include screeches, hisses, and screams.
Owls are found in all regions of the Earth except Antarctica, most of
Greenland and some remote islands.
Though owls are typically solitary, the literary collective noun for a group
of owls is a parliament.
Owls are farsighted and are unable to see anything clearly within a few
centimeters of their eyes. Caught prey can be felt by owls with the use
of filoplumes, which are small hair-like feathers on the beak and feet that
act as "feelers". Their far vision, particularly in low light, is exceptionally
And how could I not include the greatest Owl picture of them all!