24 Incredible Facts About Owls

An owl is a type of bird. Typical owls and barn owls are the two types of owls. Owls can be found in almost every country on the planet. An owl’s head is large, its face is flat, the beak is hooked, the tail is short, and its talons are sharp. An owl’s wings are very long. Owls have streaks or spots on their brown, grey, or white plumage. The eyes of the owl are unusual. The owl’s eyes are both facing forward. The eyes of this creature cannot move, and they have an excellent long-range vision. They can’t see close objects very clearly. So take a look at these 24 fascinating facts about this fantastic night creature.

  1. Owls have binocular vision, but large eyes are fixed in their sockets, which means that they have to rotate their heads to see different views.
  2. They can rotate their heads and necks as much as about 270 degrees.
  3. The hoot of an owl signifies the claim to a territory and serves as a cautioning call to other owls to stay away from their territories. In addition to hoots, they can also shriek or screech from time to time.
  4. They have three eyelids; the Upper eyelid closes when the owl blinks, and the lower closes up when the owl is asleep. The third eyelid is a nictating membrane which is a thin layer of tissue that closes when the eye closes. This membrane cleans and protects their eyes from dirt and dust and cleans their eyes with each blink.
  5. They are far-sighted animals which means they can see far away objects more clearly than close ones. Plus, they have the best night vision in all animal kingdom.
  6. Owls cannot swivel their eyes. So Instead of rotating their eyes, they move their heads completely around to see objects behind them.
  7. Owls are present on every continent of the planet except Antarctica.
  8. They have Soft fringes on their wings which make their flight essentially silent.
  9. Female owls are heavy and are larger than male owls. Female owls weigh around 1,608 g (3.545 lb), while males weigh around 1,224 g (2.698 lb).
  10. The species of European race eagle owl is considered the world’s largest owl with an average weight of 1.6-4kg, length of 66-71 cm, and a wingspan of over 1.5 meters ( 5ft). It abducts cats and other small animals.
  11. There are around 225 different owl species on the planet.
  12. They swallow their prey as a whole because they can not chew and don’t have any teeth. After approximately 12 hours, they cough up the remains like bones, feathers, and fur in the shape of a tennis ball pellet.
  13. They like to live solo or in solitary, but when they are found in groups, then the owl group is called a parliament, Study, or Wisdom.
  14. The Barn Owls’ hearing ability is so highly developed, which helps them to hunt for their prey even in complete darkness. Their ear opening is just placed behind the eyes and has a heart-shaped head, which acts as a disc and helps to trap and focus on the sound.
  15. Owls have different sound vocalizations and use many sounds to communicate.
  16. They can whistle, chirp, scream, screech, growl, shriek, or even bark.
  17. Owls are nocturnal animals which means they are active during the night time.
  18. They have excellent night vision; this is because of few reasons
    (i) They don’t have many cones in their eyes but have a lot more rods. Due to this, they lose some of the color vision, but it helps to see a lot more in the dark.
    (ii)Secondly, they have extra-large eyes, so they pick more rays of light in the dark.
  19. Owls evolved about 57-60 million years ago that is believed to be 5 million years ago than the extinction of nonavian dinosaurs.
  20. Some species of Owls can live up to twenty years. Whereas barn owl can only live about four years, and great horned owl can live up to thirteen years. So different species of owls have a different lifespans.
  21. The Great Horned Owls reach the age of maturity at the age of 9-10 weeks after hatching, While Screech Owls 4-5 weeks and the Barn Owls take 7-8 weeks to reach maturity.
  22. As per Greek mythology, the owls are a symbol of Athena, the goddess of wisdom.
  23. The great horned owl is considered the fastest flyer among all owl species and can fly at speeds of 40 Mph(64.37 kmh). But on average, they fly at half of their achievable speeds.
  24. The oldest extant species of owl family is of barn owls which are about 24 million years old.

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