Owls are amazing birds that can turn strange, adorable, or spooky, -depending on who you ask. Over 200 kinds are inhabiting every continent, excluding Antarctica.
Owls have high senses that assist them in hunting prey all around the world. This is why we have cataloged 15 interesting facts you need to know about owls.
- Owls can rotate their heads nearly all the way around- but not fully
It’s a belief that owls can turn their heads 360 degrees. The birds can rotate their necks 135 degrees in either orientation, which gives them 270 degrees of cumulative movement.
According to scientists, bone modifications, blood vessels with constrictive reservoirs, and a supportive vascular system enable the owls to turn their skulls that far without stopping the flow of blood to the brain.
2. Owls possess long-sighted tube-shaped eyes
Rather than round eyeballs, owls have eye ducts that go far back into their heads—which implies that their eyesights are motionless, so they have to twist their heads to see.
The size of their eyesight assists them in observing in the night, and they are long-sighted, which encourages them to sight prey from miles away. At close range, visibility can be hazy, and they rely on little, hairy feathers on their bills and talons to feel their food.
3. Owls have an excellent hearing ability
Owls are gifted at hearing prey under layers, plants, snow, and dirt. Few owls possess pairs of ears at varied heights on their skulls, which allows them to uncover target based on slight differences in sound waves.
Other owls have flat faces with distinctive plumage that focus sound, virtually turning their faces into one enormous ear.
4. Owls fly silently
Unlike many birds, owls make nearly no sound when flying. They have unique feathers that break turbulence into lesser breezes, which lessens noises that could be made when they fly.
5. Owls can consume a prey whole
Getting slaughtered by an owl is awful. First, the owl snatches the prey and mashes it to death with its sharp claws. Then, based on the size, it either swallows the prey whole or shreds it.
The owl’s digestive region cleanses the body, and the portions that can’t be digested, such as bones and furs, are compressed into a pellet, which the owl later vomits.
6. Owls can occasionally eat other owls
Owls eat large prey (some species, like the eagle owl, can even grab small deer) as well as other kinds of owls. For instance, Great horned owls will assault the barred owl. The barred owl, in turn, periodically consumes the Western screech-owl.
Owls eating owls could be an explanation for the declined numbers of Western screech-owls.
7. Owls feed the most energetic babies first
As intense as it sounds, the parent’s owls often nourish the oldest and toughest owlet before its sibling. It means that if food is insufficient, the youngest chicks will go hungry.
After an owlet vacates the nest, it continually inhabits nearby in a similar tree, and its parents will still bring it food. If it can endure the first winter by itself, its odds of survival are good.
8. Owls are master of disguise
Multiple owls nap during the day, but the colors and markings on their plumage—such as the African Scops Owl —allows them to blend with their environments.
9. Owls occasionally make scary hissing sounds:
Apart from hooting, owls can make a variety of nose, from whistles to screeches to squeaks. The barn owl hisses when it senses danger, which sounds the same as something from a nightmare.
10. Elf owls reside in cacti
The tiniest owl is the elf owl, which dwells in the southwestern United States as well as Mexico. It will periodically make its home in the giant saguaro cactus, nesting in gaps created by other animals.
Nevertheless, the elf owl is not fussy and will also inhabit telephone poles or in trees.
11. Digging owls seize ground squirrel habitats
The gangly tunneling owl resides in South and North America. It is among the few owls that are active in the day, and nests on the surface, proceeding into tunnels dug up by other animals like the ground squirrel.
They will also excavate their own homes if needed. Then, they’ll envelop the openings to their shelters with feces and stay at the entrance all-day.
12. Owls are effective tools for pest control for farmers
Owls consume many rodents, and a single barn owl family will ingest about three thousand rodents in a four-month breeding process.
One owl can devour 50 pounds of prey yearly. Numerous farmers are introducing owl nesting crates in the expectations that owls will eradicate pests like rodents from their land.
This natural method of pest control is comfortable and economical than utilizing poison, and it is suitable for the owls as well. A lot of owls perish each year from consuming rodents that have been contaminated.
13. Owls were once used as an indication for victory in battles
In medieval Greece, the Little Owl was the friend of Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, which is one explanation why owls symbolize knowledge and proficiency.
But Athena was also a warrior, and the owl has considered the keeper of armies taking off into battle. If Greek soldiers saw an owl fly by during the war, they believed it to be a sign of coming victory.
14. Owls were also regarded as a symbol of death
From ancient eras, owls have been associated with evil, death, and other myths. Many cultures saw owls as a sign of impending death. For instance, an owl was asserted to have foreseen the end of Julius Caesar.
They’ve also been linked to witches and other evil entities. While this may sound like Samhain fun, multiple cultures still have beliefs about owls, and in some locales, owls are slaughtered based on these assumptions.
15. Owls and humans typically relate well
Owls have been prominent since ancient periods. They appear in Egyptian alphabets and the 30,000-year-old cave portraits in France. Hunters have used owls since the Middle Ages, though not as common as other kinds of birds.
In present times, people still love owls. However, it’s illegal to own them as pets in the US, even though they’re practical and friendly.
Owls can assault humans when they feel threatened, but reports of this are rare. In Japan, there are owl cafés where people can interact with owls while sipping tea.