Interesting Facts About Owls: The Silent Hunters

It is undeniable that owls are awesome. They are diverse, expressive, and stealthy. Owls are fascinating birds and one that several other types of birds are very afraid of. Fake owls are usually placed on top of the buildings to prevent pigeons and other kinds of birds from building nests there. An owl is considered a symbol of wisdom and they produce a distinctly identifiable sound at night.
Human beings have had great interest on owls for millennia: they’re portrayed in antique cave wall paintings in France dating back 15,000-20,000 years and also appear in the Egyptian hieroglyphics and the folklore across the world. In some cultures, they represent death and misfortune, while in other cultures they represent prosperity and wisdom.
In today’s pop culture, they’re highly associated with the Halloween alongside the witch on her broomstick and the black cat. The owl is the bird of prey which can be found on all continents except Antarctica. Today, there are more than 200 species of owls which live in different types of terrestrial habitats: mountain areas, deserts, forests and open grasslands. Owls can also be seen near villages and farms. Some species of owls are currently endangered due to diseases, habitat loss and killing.
The owls are among the species of birds which you do not see very often, though, but only hear. This is because an owl is not a bird which is out during the day. They are known to be so active at night only. There are two major categories of owls – typical owls and barn owls. In this article, we will provide some of the most interesting and fun facts about owls. Enjoy!
1. Unlike the most of their other feathered brethren, many owls don’t build nests. Instead, they look for nests built by other animals and birds in the previous seasons or nest in the crevices, hollows of trees, or even in holes/depressions underground.
2. Owls are cannibals. There are several fascinating facts about owls, but this fact is really strange. Many owl species are cannibals. Larger owls feed on smaller owls. They often hunt down the Owls of some other smaller species.
Smaller Barred Owls are hunted by the Great Horned Owls. The Barred owls, in turn, hunt other smaller owl species. Barred owls are the primary cause of declining Screech Owl populations. In addition, there are a few avian species that also hunt them down.
3. Owls are silent hunters. They’re one of the best hunters on our planet. They have an excellent hearing ability. They hunt silently at night. In fact, you can never realize when an owl approaches you at night.
They have established quite incredible abilities for remaining silent. For this reason, they’ve special hooks on the tips of their feathers. These hooks assist them in suppressing the sound of air that passes through their feathers.
4. Some owls (distinct species) have ear-like structures on their head. They can’t detect sound, but serve as structures that offer camouflage. Also, they can be used to show aggression.
5. Owls have exceptional ability to move their neck. There are various kinds of owls possessing different abilities and having different colors. However, all the owl species have this distinctive ability to turn their heads 270 degrees. They’ve fourteen vertebrae instead of seven vertebrae usually found in birds.
Even though such neck movements in other animals (such as human beings) can cause major interruption in blood flow and serious arterial injuries, the Owls have developed a unique blood circulation system which provides blood to eyes and brain when the supply of blood is cut off during the motion of the neck.
6. All owls have forward-facing eyes and upright posture which provide them binocular vision, just like human beings. Owls’ eyes aren’t spheres; instead, they are tubes which offer better depth perception and enable them to notice any prey from great distances.
7. Owls are also used in witchcraft. In various cultures, they are looked upon differently. Generally, it involves the role of owls in different mythologies and cultures. In some cultures, they are considered a symbol of intelligence whereas in some they’re considered as the bad omen. Also, early humans considered them as a demonic symbol. They are often used in witchcraft for black magic.
Owls are tamed by humans to be used in hunting. Falconer’s owls are trained to chase down the preys such as rabbits. But, it is very difficult to train them just like common domestic animals such as cats.
8. Owls can prey on eagles and monkeys. The size of prey may vary depending on the size of the owl. Eagle owls are one of the biggest hunters with largest wings in all species. Carrying preys such as young warthogs and vervet monkeys is not much of a challenge for the Veraux Eagle Owls.
They can easily hunt down other fish-eating owls of equal body size. Eurasian Eagle Owls hunt down the golden eagles. The owl eagles have been reported to carry young deer and small foxes. They’re especially fond of the hedgehogs.

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