Owls are a group of birds known for their distinct calls, nocturnal habits, and silent flight. Owls are familiar to many people because they are often depected in various ways in popular culture. For instance, owls are often among the animals we associate with Halloween. They are also a favorite character in a variety of children's stories, such as Winnie the Pooh, The Secrets ofNIMH, and Harry Potter.
But widespread understanding about this unique group of birds is often quite limited. In this job we want to explore about the unknown world of the owl.
The Owls are of the order of Strigiformes, comprising 200 extant birds of prey, species. Most are solitary, and nocturnal, with some exceptions. Owls hunt mostly small mammals, insects, and other birds,though a few species specialize in hunting fish. They 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 have large forward-facing eyes and ear-holes, a hawk-like beak, a flat face, and usually a conspicuous circle of feathers,a facial disc, around each eye. Although owls have binocular vision, their large eyes are fixed in their sockets, as with other birds, and they must turn their entire head to change views. Most birds of prey sport eyes on the sides of their heads, but the stereoscopic nature of the owl's forward-facing eyes permits a greater sense of depth perception necessary for low-light hunting.
Owls arefarsighted 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 good. Contrary to popular myth, an owl cannot turn its head completely backwards. It can turn its head 270degrees in either direction.
The smallest owl is the Elf Owl. Some of the pygmy owls are scarcely larger. The largest owls are two of the eagle owls; the Eurasian Eagle Owl and Blackstone’s Fish Owl which may reach a size of 60 - 71cm (28.4 in) long, have a wingspan of almost 2 m (6.6 ft), and an average weight of nearly 4.5kg (10 lb).
Different species of owls make different sounds; the wide range ofcalls aids owls in finding mates or announcing their presence to potential competitors, and also aids ornithologists and birders in locating these birds and recognizing species. The facial disc helps to funnel the sound of prey to their ears. In many species, these are placed asymmetrically, for better directional location.
Owl eggs are usually white and almost spherical, and range in numberfrom a few to a dozen, depending on species. Eggs are laid at intervals of 1 to 3 days and do not hatch at the same time. This accounts for the wide variation in the size of sibling nestlings. Owls do not construct nests, but rather look for a sheltered nesting site or an abandoned nest in trees, underground burrows, or in buildings, barns and caves.
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 ofowls 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.
Most owls are nocturnal, actively hunting for prey only under...