17 Fascinating Owl Details You Did not Know (2023)

Many individuals are fascinated by owls, that are distinctive birds. What’s so particular concerning the owl that makes it completely different than different birds? 

The true information concerning the owl will reveal distinctive traits that may assist everybody to higher perceive these birds. 

Whereas they’re fascinating birds of prey, they’re additionally a few of the most mysterious birds on this planet as they aren’t recognized to be out within the open for everybody to see. 

It is usually obvious that the conduct of owls is completely different in comparison with different birds as properly. Listed here are some owl information to consider.

1. An owl’s flattened face funnels sound to their ears

Do owls have good listening to? Owls have flattened facial disks that funnel sound to their ears in order that they will detect even the slightest noise. The sound that’s funneled to their ears is magnified as a lot as 10 instances to assist owls hear the sorts of noises people can’t hear. 


Owls are recognized to have extraordinarily good listening to, and within the case of the Northern Hawk Owl, it is ready to hear prey as a lot as 12 inches beneath the snow (1). The owl’s listening to is way more acute at sure frequencies enabling it to listen to even refined motion of their prey in leaves or undergrowth.

2. Not all owls are nocturnal

Are owls nocturnal? Whereas well-known for having nocturnal existence, not all owls occur to be night time owls. Not all owls are nocturnal, as some are both diurnal or crespecular, which means that they’re daybreak and nightfall hunters. Examples of diurnal owls embrace the northern hawk owl, the good grey owl (Strix nebulosa), and the northern pygmy owl (Glaucidum gnoma). 


Marc Devokaitis, a public data specialist on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in Ithaca, New York, says that these owls are daytime hunters as a result of most popular prey, that are songbirds or small mammals, are additionally diurnal (2). Owls are additionally shut family to hawks, that are additionally diurnal birds.

3. Owls poop via their mouth

Do owls poop? There are two methods for owls to poop. Half of their waste goes out of their again finish, and the opposite half is coughed out of their mouth. How do owls poop? Common owl poop is white uric acid and feces, that are excreted via the cloaca, which can be used for mating and laying eggs (3). 


Spherical brown pellets are fashioned within the digestive course of and are coughed up 6 to 10 hours after consuming a meal. Earlier than producing a pellet, owls will take a pained expression, closing their eyes and narrowing their facial disk. After extending their neck ahead, they vomit the pellet out.

4. Owls are extremely smart

Are owls sensible? Owls are invariably depicted as extraordinarily clever in common tradition, however they’re notoriously tough to coach. Individuals would have a greater time coaching birds like parrots, hawks, and even pigeons than owls. Individuals maintain owl intelligence in excessive regard due to their larger-than-usual eyes conveying the impression of intelligence. 


Owls are extremely smart at night time and excel once they hunt for meals due to their nice imaginative and prescient. Owls are good at what they do, however it’s onerous to get them to do a lot else. Worldwide raptor knowledgeable Jemima Parry-Jones says that owls are as thick as two brief planks (4).

5. Owls can flip their heads 270 levels

One enjoyable reality about owls is that their eyes operate in a different way than different birds. The eyes of an owl are supported by bony eye sockets, which suggests they can’t flip their eyes. As an alternative, owls rotate their heads as much as 270 levels. They will truly flip their necks 135 levels in both path, which supplies them a complete motion of 270 levels. 


It’s only a fable that owls can fully flip their heads round 360 levels. Analysis at Johns Hopkins College revealed that the owls’ neck bones, or vertebrae, comprise holes which can be a lot bigger than these present in different birds or people (5).

6. Owl flight is silent

It’s unimaginable to listen to an owl flying. Owls have only a few down feathers however have downy barbules on the elements of the contour feathers closest to the pores and skin. Owl feathers have many particular designs. They’ve comb-like main edges which can be known as flutings or fimbriae. 


When different birds fly, air rushes over the floor of the wing, creating turbulence and a gushing noise. When owls fly, their feather edge breaks down the turbulence. How briskly do owls fly? They’re very quick creatures, gracefully gliding via the air as quick as 40 miles per hour within the case of the Nice Horned Owl (6).

7. Owls generally eat different owls

Not solely do owls eat surprisingly giant prey, because the Eurasian Eagle Owl can seize small expensive, however they will additionally eat different species of owl (7). Barred Owls will likely be attacked by Nice Horned Owls, for instance. Barred Owls will generally eat Western Screech Owls. Nevertheless, not each species of owls are recognized to eat different owls. 


These birds are carnivorous and can eat rodents, small or medium-sized mammals, nocturnal bugs, fish, and different birds. Several types of owls have completely different diets. For instance, Asian and African Owls are extremely educated in catching fish for his or her meal, whereas Screech Owls accept small bugs.

8. Owls feed the strongest infants first

As harsh as it might sound, one of many important child owl information is that the oldest and strongest infants are fed by the dad and mom earlier than their siblings. If meals occurs to be scarce, then the youngest chicks will starve. In some circumstances, the weakest chicks are killed by their stronger siblings. 


Although it is a seemingly brutal strategy to the rearing of younger, this ensures that, regardless of the meals availability, some offspring will at all times survive and produce additional offspring. After an owlet leaves the nest, it is going to usually dwell close by in the identical tree, and its dad and mom will nonetheless carry it meals.

9. Owls are farsighted

Owls are farsighted, which implies that they will’t see issues near their eyes clearly. Up shut, all the pieces is blurry within the sight of owls, they usually depend upon small, hair-like feathers on their beaks and toes to really feel their meals. 


Can owls see in the dead of night? The benefits in owl imaginative and prescient reside in seeing objects which can be far-off, and this issues particularly once they use their superior night time imaginative and prescient to hunt their prey. Owls are in a position to spot their prey from miles away, sitting atop a tall tree, scanning the forest grounds beneath for unsuspecting mammals strolling round.

10. Many owl species have asymmetrical ears

Do owls have ears? Many owl species have asymmetrical ears which can be completely different sizes and completely different heights on their heads. Do owls have good listening to? With one ear being situated increased within the cranium than the opposite, this offers the owl a greater likelihood to detect the placement of prey on account of a small distinction in time when the sound reaches the ear. 


Due to this uneven alignment, owls are in a position to pinpoint the areas of sounds in a number of instructions. Barn Owls have left ears which can be increased than their proper ears (8). The owl turns its head in order that the sound it hears will arrive at each ears concurrently.

11. Not all owls hoot

Not all owls hoot as they will make a variety of different sounds, akin to screeches, whistles, chirps, shrieks, barks, growls, rattles and hisses. All owls are usually related to the well-known “hoo hoo” sound, however solely the Nice Horned Owl makes that decision. 


Barn Owls make hissing sounds, the Japanese Screech Owl (9) whinnies like a horse, and Northern Noticed-whet Owls (10) keep true to their title, sounding like an outdated whetstone sharpening a noticed. The simply recognizable hoot you might be accustomed to is normally a territorial name. Hoots declare a declare to a selected territory, serving as a warning to different owls to remain away.

12. Owls have zygodactyl toes

Owls have zygodactyl toes with two toes pointing ahead and two toes pointing backward. Nevertheless, not like most different zygodactyl birds, owls can pivot one in every of their again toes ahead to assist them grip and stroll. All of their toes have sharp talons. This stronger, extra highly effective grip permits owls to be more practical predators. 


Owls use their highly effective talons to seize their prey. The physique constructions in an owl’s legs are shorter and stronger than the equal bones in different birds. Their toes are in a position to face up to the drive of an influence with prey. Many owl species have feathered toes to guard them from chilly climate.

13. Owls don’t have eyeballs, they’ve eye “tubes”

Not all species of birds have spherical eyeballs. In keeping with the Nationwide Geographic Society, the owl eyeball is formed like an extended tube. These eye tubes can’t transfer across the similar means as these of people and plenty of different animals. 


These eye tubes are held quick in place by bones which can be known as sclerotic rings. An owl’s eyes make up 3% of its complete physique weight, whereas as compared, eyes account for under 0.0003% of a human’s physique weight. Having a bonus in binocular-like imaginative and prescient, an owl’s subject of view is about 110°, and about 64% of that’s binocular.

14. Owls aren’t nice nest-builders

The place do owls sleep? Eagles, crows, and hawks are wonderful nest-building birds. Owls aren’t almost as wonderful. As an alternative of constructing their very own properties, some owls transfer into nesting packing containers or empty nests that different birds go away behind or, based on the Owl Analysis Institute. Many owls make the most of the onerous work carried out by different birds. 


Many owls will nest in holes, that are known as cavities or hollows, in timber. Whereas it’s assumed that male owls discover and promote a territory, it’s truly the feminine owls that select the nesting websites. The nest space is defended by the owl pair and will likely be their house for a number of months.

15. Feminine owls are bigger than male owls

One shocking reality about owls is that for many species, feminine owls are bigger, heavier, and extra aggressive than males. The most important dwelling species of owl is the Blakiston’s Fish Owl. Males are 20 to 24 inches in size and sometimes weigh 6.5 to 7.9 kilos. 


Females are typically 25% bigger, measuring at 28 inches lengthy and weighing in at 7.2 kilos. Barred Owls usually weigh 1 to 2.5 kilos. They’re 16 to twenty inches lengthy and have a wingspan of 39 to 44 inches. The feminine Barred Owl is as much as 33% heavier than the male in physique mass.

Additionally learn: 12 Recommendations on learn how to do away with owls safely

16. An owl’s eye colour signifies when it prefers to hunt

The colour of an owl’s eyes tells a narrative about their lives. The attention colour of an owl helps birders establish their species and signifies the time of day they like to hunt. For instance, owls with orange eyes are crepuscular, which means they’re lively throughout twilight. The Eurasian Eagle Owl has orange eyes. 


Owls which have darkish brown or black eyes, such because the Barred Owl and the Northern Noticed Owl, are nocturnal and like to hunt at night time. Owls with yellow eyes, such because the Burrowing Owl and the Snowy Owl, point out that they’re diurnal and like to hunt through the daytime.

17. An owl has three eyelids

The owl eye is extra complicated in design in comparison with different birds. An owl has three eyelids. One eyelid is used for blinking, one is used for sleeping, and one is used for preserving the attention clear and wholesome. The third eyelid can be known as the nictitating membrane. 

bird eye

Many different species of birds have this membrane, together with different raptors, in addition to many geese, dippers, and anhingas. This membrane is a skinny layer of tissue that closes diagonally throughout the attention, from the within to the skin. With out having the ability to blink, the owl’s eyes would simply grow to be dry or injured by fixed contact with dust or mud.

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