The owl (Latin Strigiformes, or Striges) is a representative of the order of birds of prey, which includes more than 220 large and medium-sized species, mainly nocturnal birds, common in all countries of the world. This fact suggests that it is precisely this appearance that makes it possible for these birds to hunt successfully in the dark. But owls vary greatly in size. Their mass varies from fifty grams to four and a half kilograms. Owls settled the whole world. Not to find them only, perhaps, in Antarctica. Seventeen species live in Russia. Owls rarely build nests on their own. More often they use abandoned nests of magpies, crows or tree hollows. Small birds and rodents are the basis of food for most owls.
Owls have unique organs of vision. Most birds have eyes on the side of the head. Owls do not. Huge eyes are located in front. After all, owls (by the way, deprived of the sense of smell) are active in the evening and at night. They have binocular vision, which gives owls the ability to accurately determine the distance to the selected prey. And since owls cannot roll their eyes from side to side (the eyeballs are fused with the bones of the skull), they can concentrate on the object for attack.
Owls have a flexible neck. The eyes are motionless, but the neck can be rotated 270 degrees. Before the attack, the owl must "aim" - while it turns its head in all directions.
In addition to special sight, owls have a special hearing. It is thanks to him that these birds without error determine the place where their victim is, and the distance to it. Owls have unique hearing thanks to the facial disc, which are formed by dense feathers on the front of the head - they are located in a ring.
Owls fly silently. This quiet flight is ensured by the extremely loose and soft plumage. Thus, the ability to fly silently is another adaptation to nightlife - mainly associated with hunting.
Owls have long claws. Long and curved. And also very sharp. Many owls have two fingers facing forward and two facing backward. Without such weapons, it would be difficult for them to grab their prey.
All owls hunt at night. Many yes, but not all. As you know, there are exceptions to every rule. So it was not without them here. For example, short-eared and hawk owls that live in our country. And some owls are forced to hunt during the day by the natural features of the places in which they live. The snowy owl, living in the tundra, hunts in daylight for several months, since the sun does not set over the horizon in the summer.
Owls create married couples for life. Yes, these birds are characterized by consistency in family life. Interestingly, among the chicks, the older ones are more likely to survive. During starvation, they can get enough by eating the last hatched chicks.
Long-eared owls are the most common representatives of the order in the European part of Russia. These owls got their name from the ears formed by feathers. The long-eared owl especially loves to settle in coniferous forests, but it can also be found in different parks. The "southern" individuals are mainly sedentary, while the "northern" ones are migratory birds. The diet of long-eared owls includes small rodents, shrews. Careless movements of the latter doom them to the role of victim.
The snowy owl is the largest owl in the Arctic. The body weight of the female is on average three kilograms, and that of the male is two and a half kilograms. The wingspan is more than half a meter. You can meet her in the tundra of North America, Greenland, Eurasia. She also lives on several islands in the Arctic Ocean. In natural conditions, they live for about eight years.
The owl is one of the largest owls. The weight of this bird is more than three kilograms. He prefers to live in places most rarely visited by humans. Dense forests are ideal for this role.
Owl feathers protect people from misfortune. So it was believed in Kazakhstan and in Central Asia, the population of which believed that the mysterious pattern on each side feather of the owl was nothing but sayings from the Koran.
During the mating season, owls arrange "concerts". The mating season begins in March. A traveler who wanders into the habitats of owls at this time of the year can easily be frightened by their hooting: the female and the male make these sounds first separately, and then in a duet. The eagle owl is called a "scarecrow" - after all, this deaf hooting is not enough, so the "performance" still ends with a loud laugh. The main food of eagle owls is rodents. They also eat amphibians, insects, reptiles and even birds.
The little owl is a very brave bird. She lives in small towns, villages and villages in the southern regions of Russia. This bird can make cats flee. The little owl stores food, hiding its excess in secluded places.
The fish owl feeds on fish. This species of owls lives in Primorye, on the coast of the Sea of Okhotsk, in the Kuriles, Sakhalin and in Japan. A favorite place for nesting for these birds is river floodplains overgrown with tall trees. Here there are hollows necessary for life, and in the river the main source of food is fish. Owls catch it in two ways. The first one is being watched from objects located in the immediate vicinity of the water. The second - they wander in shallow water, grabbing the fish that is nearby.
Owls can settle directly on the ground or in burrows. This is mainly typical for individuals whose habitat is the tundra or desert. For example, the rabbit owl (the second name is the cave owl) inhabits the burrows of large rodents in North and part of South America.
Owls are typical representatives of owls. Like most of the other members of the order, they inhabit forests, live in hollows, and eat rodents. In the Russian Federation, you can find individuals of three species of this genus: bearded, long-tailed and gray owls. The latter is found even in large parks, the first two still avoid meeting people.
Owl owls are curious. In winter, in the taiga, they often fly after a person, while flying from one tree to another. The gray and long-tailed owls inhabit the territory of the Russian Federation, but the great gray owl is better known in North America. These owls can laugh so frighteningly loud that they frighten even a seasoned hunter.