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A short Discussion of the Mystical Owl

Owls are large headed, short necked birds of prey, mostly nocturnal.

There are two families of Owls: the typical owls, with about 167
species; and the barn owls, with about 14 species worldwide.

The large eyes of owls (smaller in barn owls) are directed forward,
and are encased in a capsule of bone called the sclerotic ring which
allows little eye movement.

Owls must turn their entire heads to look sideways, facilitated
by relatively long and flexible necks that permit the head to be
rotated through 270 degrees. In most owls the eyes are
surrounded by a facial disk of stiff feathers.

As relatively few owls hunt their prey in full daylight, their hearing
is particularly important. Many owls have asymmetrical skulls,
with the ear openings at different levels; this enables the bird to
hone in on the sound made by a prey animal.

The common barn owl has one of the largest ranges among living birds.

The nesting habits of owls are highly variable. Some nest in
holes in trees or among rocks, others nest in large tree-nests,
and others, such as burrowing owls, nest on the ground.

All owls lay pure white eggs.

Owls feed entirely on living animals, with the size of the prey
proportional to the size of the owl, from insects to mammals as
large as hares. A few feed primarily on fish.

Indigestible portions of their food, such as bones, hair, and
feathers, are compressed and regurgitated as compact pellets.

Smallest of the family is the elf owl of the southwestern United States
and Mexico. It is 5 inches  long, and nests in woodpecker holes
in large cacti.

Picture Snowy Owl

Owls make up the order Strigiformes.
Typical owls make up the family Strigidae, and barn owls make up
the family Tytonidae.

Types of North American Owls Include:

Barn Owl
Barred Owl
Boreal Owl
Burrowing Owl
Eastern Screech Owl
Elf Owl
Ferruginous Pygmy Owl
Flammulated Owl
Great Gray Owl
Great Horned Owl
Long Eared Owl
Northern Hawk Owl
Northern Pygmy Owl
Northern Saw Whet Owl
Short Eared Owl
Snowy Owl
Spotted Owl
Western Screech Owl
Whiskered Screech Owl

See Also:

Index of North American Birds

Owl in Winnie the Pooh

Adorably Divine Stuffed Plush Owls & Birds

Cheerfully Colorful Calendars Starring Owls in Cool Poses


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