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Interesting facts about owls

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We found 30 interesting facts about owls

Mysterious symbol of wisdom

Owls have always caused fear in people. This was the reason for persecution and extermination; few people noticed the importance of owls in nature and their natural beauty. For centuries they have been associated with death and the afterlife, mainly because they are active at night. Today, fortunately, many fewer people believe in superstitions, we know that owls are useful, rare and require protection. One could even say that they enjoy great sympathy among people who consider them a symbol of wisdom, intelligence and common sense. They are associated with intuition, the ability to see what others do not see.

1

Owls are a diverse group of birds of prey.

The order of owls consists of two families (the barn owl and the tawny owl) and more than 200 species.

2

There are 10 species of owls in Poland.

The largest of them is the eagle owl, and the smallest is the pygmy owl.

3

Although they are not closely related to Accipitridians (hawk-like diurnal birds of prey), they share several similarities.

They have sharp beaks and claws, good eyesight and the ability to see stereoscopically. The difference is their nocturnal lifestyle and excellent hearing.

4

Owls live all over the world and lead a sedentary lifestyle.

Some northern populations became nomads or nomads.

5

They inhabit a variety of habitats, but most species are found in forests, parks and gardens.

Owls inhabit areas of the arctic tundra (snow owl), taiga (barred owl), savannah (savannah pygmy owl), deserts (cactus owl, tawny owl), tropical forests (Indian owl), wetlands (great owl), and agricultural areas. (owl, barn owl).).

6

Some species of owls, such as the owl, barn owl and barn owl, live near human settlements.

7

Owls exhibit reverse sexual dimorphism.

The female is larger than the male, but both sexes do not differ in appearance.

8

The plumage of owls is dense and soft, gray or brown. It is mysterious (masking).

The feathers are covered with velvet down, so they do not make any sound when they rub against each other during flight. Thanks to this, owls move silently.

9

The species found in the far north (snowy owl) are mostly white.

This coloring has a camouflage function.

10

Owls do not have external ears, only auditory openings hidden under the feathers.

They are located inside the shell, surrounded by a depression that turns into a depression in the plumage. The ear openings on both sides of the head are located asymmetrically, and the grooves are also shaped differently, causing sounds to reach the ears at different times and in different forms. Thanks to this, the owl can accurately determine the location of its prey even in the dark.

11

Owls have spots around their eyes and beaks.

These are radial feathers, stiffer than the rest. The role of glass is to concentrate high-frequency sound waves.

12

Owls hear in the range of 50-21000 Hz.

13

The visible “ears” of some owls are a tuft of feathers (long-eared owl).

Their location reflects the mood of the owl - when she is anxious, she lifts them, when she is relaxed, they are even difficult to see.

14

The owl has excellent vision, adapted to see in low light.

The owl's eye is about 100 times more sensitive to light than the pigeon's eye, and 2,5 times more sensitive than the human eye.

15

The brightness of vision is enhanced by a reflective membrane behind the owl's retina.

16

The owl's eyes can magnify images like a telephoto lens.

Owls have huge eyes. The eagle owl's eye is the size of a human eye.

17

Owls have tunnel vision, just like humans have binoculars.

Owls' eyes, due to their size and shape, are inactive in their sockets. The owl's eyes are turned forward.

18

Owls can turn their heads 270 degrees thanks to their enormous neck mobility.

An owl's flexible neck has twice as many cervical vertebrae as a human's. In this way they compensate for the limited viewing angle.

19

When blinking, they use the upper eyelid and the so-called third eyelid - flicker.

20

Owls are predators; they feed on animal foods from insects to mammals.

They hunt by hiding in ambush or performing low patrol flights at a height of 1-3 m above the ground. In most species, hunting occurs at night, when birds have an undeniable advantage over prey. However, there are species of owls that are active from dusk to dawn and even during the day (Great Owl).

Some species hunt insects and rodents by moving on the ground, such as the barn owl, others, such as the barn owl, long-eared owl, long-eared owl or kestrel, can hover in the air, and still others hunt in the treetops. .

21

Among the owls, there are food generalists who eat everything they can get (the tawny owl), and there are those who eat only one type of food, such as the barn owl and long-eared owl, which feed on small rodents or fish. , for example, a fishing owl.

22

Owls can carry prey from their feet to their beaks during flight.

23

Adult owls swallow prey whole if its size allows it.

24

The digestive system of owls does not allow them to digest bones, teeth, fur and feathers.

Undigested residues are excreted by vomiting 8-24 hours after eating food in the form of so-called pellets.

25

Almost all species of owls collect supplies by storing excess prey in the nest, near it, in tree hollows and on branches.

26

Owls never build nests.

They nest in large tree hollows or in old corvid nests.

27

The breeding season of owls begins in February, for some species in January and lasts until May.

Eggs are laid at intervals of 1-3 days; owls begin incubation after laying the first egg. The chicks usually hatch at night and are blind. The chicks leave the nest 2-7 weeks after hatching.

28

The largest owl in the world is the eagle owl, similar in size to large eagles.

29

The smallest of the Polish owls is the pygmy owl, the size of a sparrow and the weight of a starling.

30

Owls communicate using a variety of sounds. The voice is an individual distinctive feature of an owl.

They mark their territory with their voice, call their partner and report danger.

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