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Meet the Owls

With their amazing hunting skills, owls are truly amazing. These are some fascinating facts that you might not have heard about Owls:

Only Carnivorous

Owls eat other animals including small insects like moths or beetles, to large birds, some as large as an Osprey. Some species of owls consume mainly fish, like Ketupa (fish-owl) and Scotopelia species which are found in Asia as well as Sub-Saharan Africa. Owls spend a lot of their time searching for food. For example the Snowy Owl may require hunting for food several times but can take in three to five Lemmings per day.

Owls Do Not Chew

Like other species of birds, owls don’t have teeth to take their food. They utilize their hooked, sharp bills to cut the flesh of prey into pieces, and often crush their skulls as well as other bones. They also eat smaller prey pieces whole, typically head-first. All body parts that can’t be digested by owls, such as fur and bones are then reintroduced after a few hours as a pellet.

Not all Owls are nighttime feeders.

While we typically associate them with night, certain Owls can be active throughout the daytime, even though they are usually associated with night. Snowy Owls and other northern species should be able to hunt during bright summer days. In the western mountain forests, Northern Pygmy-Owls hunt small birds during the day however, they typically hunt in the evening, Burrowing Owls are often seen outside their burrows during daylight. Other species are crepuscular and active in the early periods between dawn and dusk.

Guided By Sound

Owls are mainly nocturnal and depend on their remarkable hearing to find their prey in the darkness. Barn Owls for instance can spot small animals hiding in trees using only their auditory sense. The video above shows how you can see that the Great Gray Owl can locate prey in the midst of one foot of snow. Owls’ flat faces work as dish antennas- the feathers around the face transmit soundwaves to their ears, which are concealed on the sides. A lot of owl species exhibit a slight difference in ear position which aids them in determining target distance.

Bountiful Years Bring Many Chicks

Owls reproduce according to the quantity of food available. Although Barn Owls typically lay four to seven eggs, they’ve been known to lay as many as 12 eggs in years of the highest rodent population. In years of food scarcity, however certain owls may not breed at all.

Stealthy Hunters

Owls fly in silence and this makes it possible for them to quickly get close to targets who aren’t. They can fly slower than other birds due to the fact that their wings have a greater surface area than other birds. This allows them to avoid stalling and falling into the ground. Their feathers play an important function – their shape and soft texture helps to muffle the sound of an owl’s flight.

Owls Water is a requirement

Although owls can consume water, they receive most of their water from animals they consume. In the course of metabolism the hydrogen in the animals’ fats is converted into oxidation, resulting in around 1 gram of water per each gram of fat. Sometimes, owls may consume snow during winter’s northern winters.

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