Owls: Amazing Creatures of the Night
Owls are birds of prey, or Raptors, that are nocturnal which means they come alive at night time. With j just a few exceptions, they are known for their keen sight, broad heads, binaural hearing and feathers that make for very quiet flying. Except for Antartica, owls are found in every single continent in the world.
Owls are in the Strigiformes order. There are approximately 200 species within the order. They are notorious for hunting small creatures and fish and it’s all done at night.
The Barn Owl is probably the most popular of Owls. They have a distinctive heart shaped face and although they don’t possess the keen hearing other Owls do, they make up for it with their excellent eyesight. Even when it is as dark as dark can be, Owls can still see, spotting their prey with no light at all.
In the Far East lives the Bay Owl. Not a lot is known about these Owls except for that they are smaller than the Barn Own and have a more square face rather than heart shaped. They live in the forest and have the typical dark brown huge eyes but that is about all that is really known about them.
The Scops Owl and The EurpeanScops Owl are very small, about 60 grams at their peak. Then there are the Eurasian Eagle Owl that is the largest with females often reaching 10 pounds. Another large Owl is the Milky Eagle Owl that graces the skies of Africa.
The very smallest Owl is appropriately called the Pygmy Owl. They live in North America, Asia and Europe. Some of the Pygmy Owls hunt at night but others are more active in the daytime. This little bird weighs in at a 2.2 ounces as a male adult average and 2.7 for females. They are very tiny but they have oversized huge yellow eyes. The Pygmy Owl has been placed on the list of endangered species as of 1997.
The Tawny Owl, Barred Owl, Asian Wood Owl and Great Gray Owl are other Owls that are in existence. The Fearful Owl is one of the most amazing Owls as it is quite small but has evolved with huge feet to compensate for its size. The Fearful Owl resides in the Solomon Islands. Then there is the Tengmalm’s Owl from the North American and Eurasia forests. They are generally small in size.
Owls are considered spooky and a bit too mysterious by some. Some are even superstitious against them and consider them part of the underworld. Others love them and collect anything that has a picture of an owl on it. Still others study the Owl. Owls are meeting a steady decline, especially those of the smaller variety. There are groups that have banned together to save those that are endangered who give of their time and money to make sure the Owl never fall into extinction.
Owls are interesting and distinguished birds of prey. Whether you love them or are taken aback by their natural and odd habits and looks, there is no denying that they are quite fascinating creatures of the night.