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Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Owl

DISTRIBUTION AND NAMES

There are around 200 different owl species.


The barn owl (Tyto alba) is the most widely distributed species of owl, and one of the most widespread of all birds. It is found in most parts of the world, with one major lineage in the New World, one in Australasia, and another in Eurasia and Africa.

Baby owls are called "owlettes."

A group of owls is called a 'parliament'.

ANATOMY

An owl's eyes are bigger than its brain.

An owl's eyes can weigh up to five percent of their body weight.


Owls are the only birds who can see the color blue.

Owls are far-sighted, meaning that anything within a few inches of their eyes can’t be seen properly.

An owl has three eyelids: one for blinking, one for sleeping and one for keeping the eye clean and healthy.

An owl's neck has 14 vertebrae-twice as many as human's. As a result, owls can turn their heads by 270 degrees, or three-quarters of a complete circle. If a human tried that, circulation to the brain would be entirely cut off.

The great grey owl, sometimes called Phantom of the North, is known as the world's largest species of owl by length.

Great grey owl Wikipedia

The barn owl's secret weapon is its exceptional hearing, which enables it to locate its prey in pitch darkness. Its face feathers create a disc, which traps and focuses sound.

The barn owl is fully grown at just ten weeks, and stands ten inches tall.

The Elf Owl is the smallest owl with many documented as weighing just under one ounce.

Elf Owl at nest hole. Madera Canyon Arizona. By BBODO -  Wikipedia

BEHAVIOR

Tawny owls typically live for around five years, but a female breeding tawny owl in Yorkshire, England broke the record in 2009 when she died aged 21 years and five months.

Owls aren't that wise—in fact, they are significantly worse at problem solving than other big-brained birds like crows and parrots.

10,000 voles must be caught by a pair of barn owls each year to feed their hungry young.

The great horned owl is the only animal that will eat a skunk.

Owls make almost no noise from flying, even when tested in a room with multiple microphones

The owl's distinctive 'tu-whit tu-woo' call is actually a duet between a pair. The female makes a 'tu-whit' sound and the male responds with a 'hooo'.


The barn owl's nest is in a hollow tree, old building or cliff; the female does all the incubation, and she and the young chicks rely on the male for food.

Barn owls are usually monogamous and mate with only one owl, but 23.5% of barn owls are "divorced."

RELATIONSHIP WITH HUMANS

In Roman legend, tawny owls were depicted as harbingers of bad luck and were thought to feast on human flesh.

Many farmers love to attract barn owls as they are often better at reducing rodent populations than traps, poison or cats.

There are Owl Caf├ęs in Japan, where you can pet and play with live owls while enjoying a nice meal.

Source Daily Mail

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