A beautiful and graceful owl bird is familiar to many from an early age from cartoons and fairy tales, for some to this day it remains a symbol of wisdom and knowledge. In fact, the behavior of an owl in nature is very calm – most of the time it sleeps, and at night it hunts and is active.
She prefers to sit on a branch for a long time, staring at a point – this behavior is very reminiscent of the mannerisms of a wise old man immersed in his meditation … So an owl is considered wise not because the bird has characteristic traits or intelligence, but because for behavior.
What’s interesting is that the owl is the only bird whose head doesn’t look like a bird at all, but rather looks like a human face, and quite intelligent at that.
If you love birds and want to learn something new about them, adding new facts to your piggy bank, be sure to pay attention to our article about owls.
10. Owls don’t have eyeballs, but they do have 3 eyelids
This fact may surprise you, but owls do not have eyeballs (or rather, they have a different structure). It would be more correct to call their organs of vision ocular tubes. The bird’s eye is not round at all, but elongated.
The eyeballs of owls are motionless, thanks to which they can accurately determine the distance to an object (most often to prey), because. the birds cannot move them, they turn their heads.
Outraged, owls are 3 centuries old, each fulfilling its own function: one for blinking, another for keeping clean, and the third for happiness – sleeping.
9. Different species have different activity times
Most of us are used to thinking that owls are only active at night, however different species of this bird have different hours of activity. In North and South America, the cave owl is common – it is active during the day.
Hawk bird – a species isolated from other owls, hunts during the day, preferring early morning or evening for hunting.
The white owl has a snowy color with brownish streaks; it is common in the Arctic and Subarctic. This beauty is not strictly a nocturnal bird, but mostly hunts in the evening or early morning, sometimes doing so on the fly.
8. Trying to hide from prying eyes
The owl scrutinizes passers-by with interest… We hear its bewitching sound which evokes fabulous images, but it does not show itself. A person for an owl is stress.
Of course, after the fantastic film “Harry Potter” (the young wizard in the film has an owl), many people want to get to know this fabulous character of our planet better, but owls avoid deadly zones. Do not forget that an owl is a bird of prey, so when meeting him it is better not to disturb him.
For reference: the owl never lets you in, moreover, if you grab it by force, it can bite.
7. The Great Horned Owl is the largest representative
Experts call the Eurasian eagle-owl the largest representative of owls: the size of the body of a bird, it happens, reaches 75 cm, and the wings spread up to 2 meters. The bird is almost impossible to see when quietly sitting on a tree.
Can live in all regions except tundra, prefers wooded areas. There are very few of these most beautiful owls in nature, the species has long been listed in the Red Book. The number of Eurasian owls is decreasing due to the destruction of its permanent habitat – forests.
6. Females are larger and more aggressive than males
In most species of owls, females gain in size and color brightness, in addition, they behave more aggressively than males.. We can only guess why. It is possible that the female tends to show aggression, including towards other females, because of the protected offspring.
An adult owl is heavier than a male by about 20-25%. By the way, it shows a very interesting courtship. The male performs flights to attract the owl by flying in an exaggerated undulating pattern above the female when she is on the ground.
5. Barn owls rely only on hearing to hunt.
Barn owls, like most nocturnal birds, have excellent night vision, but when hunting they rely more on their clear hearing.which, as has been found by experiment, is four times greater than the hearing abilities of other animals.
Thanks to this feature, achieved by the structure of the ears, in which they are located at different levels asymmetrically, owls can hunt in complete darkness.
Barn owls are very sensitive, and when a loud sound occurs, they cover their ear holes with plugs with small feathers.
4. Fish owls are on the brink of extinction
The fish owl is a bird that tolerates frosts. Among the abundance of birds, undoubtedly, this endangered species stands out, but meeting it is a huge rarity!
This species is listed in the Red Book, the number of owlfish is very low and is on the verge of extinction.. The ears distinguish it from an ordinary owl – they are covered with fluff and large. Despite the fact that these two species are like two drops of water, they do not like to contact each other.
Most of this species lives in northern China, Korea, Japan. It prefers densely strewn forests, with rivers rich in living creatures, where it feeds. The fish owl has remarkable eyes – yellow, bright and with almost eagle vision!
3. 360 degree head rotation is a myth
As far as you already know from point 10, an owl, due to the structural features of its eyes, cannot move them, so it must turn its head. Corn, turning an owl’s head 360 degrees is nothing more than a myth.
But, of course, nature has given these charming birds the ability – they can turn their heads 270 degrees without hurting themselves. This can be seen as a compensation for the immobility of the eyeballs and the location of the eyes themselves. Thanks to the fact that the owl turns its head, it helps it not to lose sight of its prey.
2. Not all owls are migratory
Winter is a difficult time for animals and birds. Birds, especially owls, are especially tough this time around.. Those who do not migrate must use all their dexterity and skills. It is particularly difficult with the extraction of food for our owls: the barn owl, the eagle owl and the tawny owl. The main difficulty for them is snow cover, as it makes it difficult for rodents to prey.
In the northern part of the range, long-eared owls are common, which perform long-distance migrations – in some areas very high numbers of flying birds are noticed.
Polar owls fly west, to the mountains, and central Russian birds winter at home – in hollows. As a rule, they stay in their habitat, but they choose other places for nesting.
1. The only birds whose outer ear consists of folds of skin
And finally, we will tell you about another interesting feature of owls. They are the only birds whose outer ears consist of folds of skin and are surrounded by radiating feathers.. The ears are slightly asymmetrical, and it is thanks to this that the owls accurately determine where the sound comes from.
You’ll probably be surprised, but if you look into an owl’s ears, you can see the bird’s “soul mirror” – its unusual eyes on its back! Like all birds, owls do not have external ear structures. They look like holes in their skull, tightly covered with feathers.