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Owl | Amazing Facts

Owl Amazing Facts 4u

Top 25 Amazing Facts About Owls | Amazing Facts 4U

  1. Owls have been found in the fossil record up to 58 million years ago. The largest recorded owl fossil stood about three feet tall.
  2. There are more than 150 species of owls in the world. Only 19 owl species are found in North America.
  3. The largest species of owl is the Eurasian eagle owl, which can be as much as 30 inches long and weighs up to 5 Kg. Its wingspan can be as much as 80 inches.
  4. The smallest species of owl is the elf owl, which is about 5 inches long and weighs less than 40 gm.
  5. A group of owls is called a parliament, wisdom or study. Baby owls are called owlets.
  6. Owls swallow their prey whole because they have no teeth. After 12 hours they cough up the feathers, bones, and fur in a shape of a football pellet.
  7. Their eyes are extremely large and nearly touch inside of head being larger than humans. They are also completely immobile in its tubular eye sockets. All owls have upright posture and forward facing eyes that give them binocular vision, just like humans. However, it also makes the owl more vulnerable to predators.
  8. Contrary to popular myth, an owl cannot turn its head completely backwards. It can turn its head 135 degrees in either direction; it can thus look behind its own shoulders, with a total 270-degree field of view which compensates for their forward-facing vision and immobile eyes.
  9. Vision cells (called rods and cones) in owls are especially concentrated on the upper part of the retina, so things below the owl appear exceptionally clear. This helps them hunt on the ground. When owls close their eyes half way in sunlight, they block out the sky and some of the sunlight, but can still see the ground below perfectly.
  10. Amazingly Owls are one of the only birds that can see the color blue.
  11. The owl is the only bird to drop its upper eyelid to wink. All others birds raise their lower eyelids.
  12. An owl can turn its head upside down. Amazingly they have 14 vertebra  in the neck in contrast to 7 in other species to give it more flexibility.
  13. An owl has three eyelids: one for blinking, one for sleeping and one for keeping the eye clean and healthy.
  14. Owls are farsighted and are unable to see anything clearly within a few centimeters of their eyes.
  15. Many owl species have asymmetrical ears that are different sizes and different heights on their heads. This gives the birds superior hearing and the ability to pinpoint where prey is located, even if they can’t see it and when a sound is equally loud in both ears. Reason is that the sound of the prey reaches one ear a split second before it reaches the other. That difference allows the owl’s brain to calculate the exact distance from the prey.
  16. The flattened facial disk of an owl funnels sound to the bird’s ears and magnifies it as much as ten times to help the bird hear noises humans can’t detect.
  17. They have alternative blood vessels routing blood to the head, blood pooling systems to keep blood circulating to and from the brain and eyes when their neck movement cuts off circulation, and air-cushioned vessel casings so they don’t rupture a blood vessel when snapping their neck around 135 degrees to look over their left shoulder.
  18. For most owl species, females are larger, heavier and more aggressive than males. If the birds are dimorphic, the female is often more richly colored than the male.
  19. Owls have a foot structure called zygodactyl, which is similar to the structure of the feet of woodpeckers and parrots. Owls have four toes, three of which face forward and one backward when flying. However, when perched or grasping prey, the outer front toe can swivel back so that two toes face forward and two face backward. This allows an owl a better grip on prey or a branch. All the toes have sharp talons.
  20. Owl wings have built-in “silencers” in their wing feathers that allow them to fly through the air nearly undetected.
  21. Most  Owls are nocturnal. Their sensitive retinas tend to be disoriented in bright sunlight, so Owls prefer to avoid daytime activity whenever possible.
  22. Owl eye color is determined by their activity habits: most black and orange-eyed owls are nocturnal, while yellow-eyed owls can be both diurnal and nocturnal.
  23. Owls cannot see in total darkness, however many owls can catch their prey even when they cannot see it. The sound of a mouse under leaves or thin snow covering would be enough for a Barn Owl to locate them using their ears alone.
  24. The smallest of American owls, the elf owl specializes in catching scorpions, seizing each by the tail and nipping off its stinger. It then swallows it whole.
  25. They lay white colored eggs that are nearly spherical in shape. Owls lay eggs with an interval of 1 – 3 days.

By Amazing Facts 4U Team

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