Owls have been a symbol of wisdom in many cultures throughout history, making them an interesting subject to learn more about.
These mysterious birds have captivated our imaginations for generations, and there is still to learn more.
In this article, we will explore 10 facts about owls that will help us better understand the birds of wisdom.
By reading this article, you will gain valuable knowledge on why this bird has been so revered by many cultures throughout history.
1. Owls’ heads can almost completely spin around
The capacity of owls to almost completely spin their heads around is one of the most well-known facts about them.
They can actually spin their heads around 270 degrees in either direction, despite it appearing as though they can turn their heads a full 360 degrees.
Owls are able to have a larger field of vision without needing to move their complete body thanks to the structure of their neck vertebrae.
2. Owls hunt stealthily
The fact that owls are quiet hunters is another fascinating truth about them. Owls can swoop down on their prey silently thanks to the unique feathers on their wings that are designed to remain silent during flight.
They can hear even the smallest movements of their prey because the face feathers on their heads are made to direct sound toward their ears.
3. Owls have extraordinary vision
The eyesight of owls is among the greatest in the animal kingdom. They have depth perception and binocular vision due to their enormous, forward-facing eyes.
In addition, they have a lot of rods and cones in their eyes, which helps them see in dim light.
In fact, they have superb depth perception and can see in nearly complete darkness, making them effective predators even in the darkest of nights.
4. Except for Antarctica, every continent has owls
As one of the most widespread bird species in the world, owls can be found everywhere but Antarctica.
There are more than 200 different owl species, with sizes ranging from the diminutive Elf Owl, which stands only 5 inches tall, to the Eurasian Eagle Owl, which can reach a height of 2 feet.
5. Known for their characteristic hooting cries
The hooting call of an owl is one of the most identifiable noises in the animal kingdom.
Owls communicate with one another, mark their territory, and attract mates using a variety of hooting cries.
The sounds of various owl species vary, and some of them are even able to imitate those of other birds or animals.
6. Owls vomit unfinished prey pellets
Owls consume their prey whole; however, the fur, feathers, and bones cannot be digested. Owls regurgitate pellets of uneaten prey to get rid of these inedible bits.
These pellets can be found in regions where owls sleep or nest and can be an important source of data for researchers looking into owl diets.
7. Appeared in myths and legends
For thousands of years, owls have been mentioned in myths and stories. Numerous civilizations see owls as representations of knowledge, wisdom, and intuition.
In Greek mythology, the owl represented Athena, the goddess of wisdom, and was frequently found on ceramics and coins.
8. Solitary animal
Owls are solitary animals who only socialize during the breeding season. They set up territorial defences and kept other owls out. Some owl species, like the burrowing owl, are more friendly and have colonies.
9. The top predators
In their habitats, owls are the top predators, known as apex predators. They aid in the management of insect and small animal populations, which can have an impact on the ecosystem as a whole.
They also provide food for other predators, like foxes and coyotes.
10. Threats to owls
Owls are unfortunately threatened by habitat loss and climate change. Owl habitats are damaged as woods are cut down for construction or farming.
Climate change affects many bird species’ breeding and migration schedules, including owls, which may negatively impact their numbers.
Throughout history, humans have utilized different animals for various purposes, including cows, horses, eagles, dogs, and others.
The owl is also an intriguing creature that has captured people’s imaginations for centuries. We’ve only just begun to explore the secrets of this remarkable bird.
From its incredible eyesight and hearing abilities to its symbolic representation, it’s clear that owls are truly mysterious creatures.
Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or simply interested in learning more about our feathered friends, these 10 facts about owls offer a great starting point for further exploration.