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Owls

HOOT HOOT
by

Nigel Hunter

on 5 February 2013

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Transcript of Owls

Hunting Anatomy Owls are a group of birds containing to the scientific name called Strigformers with 200 extant bird of prey species. Most are solitary and nocturnal, with some exceptions like the Northern Hawk Owl. Owls Owls hunt mostly small mammals, insects, and other birds, but a few species hunt fish. They are found in all regions of the Earth except Antarctica, and most of Greenland in the northern region. Though owls are typically solitary, the group name for owls are parliament (as if " Look at that magnificent parliament of owls). Owls are characterized by their small beaks and wide faces, and are divided into two families: the typical owls, Strigidae; and the barn-owls, Tytonidae. Owls have large forward-facing eyes and ear-holes; a hawk-like beak; a flat face; and usually a circle of feathers, a facial disc, around each eye. Most birds of prey show eyes on the sides of their heads, but the stereoscopic nature of the owl's forward-facing eyes lets the greater sense of deep sight necessary for low-light hunting. Although owls have binocular vision, their large eyes are fixed in their sockets—as are those of other birds—so they must turn their head to change views. Owls can rotate their heads and necks as much as 270 degrees in any direction. As owls are farsighted, they are unable to see clearly anything within a few centimeters of their eyes. Caught prey can be felt by owls with the use of filoplumes—like feathers on the beak and feet that act as "feelers". Their far vision, usually in low light, is exceptionally good.
The smallest owl—weighing as little as 31 grams and measuring about 13.5 centimeters (5 in)—is the Elf Owl . Around the same length, although slightly heavier, are the lesser known Long-whiskered Owlet and Tamaulipas Pygmy Owl. The largest owl by length is the Great Grey Owl which measures around 70 cm on average and can measure a length of 84 cm. However, the heaviest (and largest winged) owls are two similar sized eagle owls; the Eurasian Eagle-Owl and Blakiston's Fish Owl. These two species, which are on average about 2.53 cm shorter in length than the Great Grey, can both get a wingspan of 6.6 ft and a weight of (10 lb) in females.

D Anatomy Owls Wings The serrations on the leading edge of an owl's flight feathers reduce noise Owl Sight Owl eyes each have nictitating membranes that can move independently of each other, as seen on this Spotted Eagle-Owl in Johannesburg, South Africa Breeding and Reproduction Owl eggs usually have a white color and a very circular shape, and in range number from a few to a dozen, depending on the specie of the owl and the season. For most owls three or four is the more common number of eggs to be laid. Eggs are laid at times of 1 to 3 days and do not hatch at they don't hatch at the same time While most owls have capabilities to locate and catch its prey. They swoop down to catch the small vermin and then uses its magnificent three talons to crush the skull of their prey. The crushing power of the owls talons depends the size of the prey and owl. An owls claws like most birds of prey can seem massive in comparison to the body size when in flight. The Masked Owl is known to have the biggest talons in size which appear enormous in comparison of the body when ready to catch a prey. An owls foot differs from many other birds feet because owls have a zygodactyl toe arrangement with two toes directed forward and two toes directed in the back during perching. An owl’s claws are sharp and curved. The family Tytonidae have inner and central toes of about equal length, while the family Strigidae have an inner toe that is shorter than the center one. These different morphologies allow efficiency in capturing prey specific to the different environments they inhabit. Claws Beak The beak of the owl is short curved, and downward facing and mostly hooked at the tip for grabbing at prey and tearing it. Once the prey is captured the owl uses a scissor motion of the top and lower bill to to tear the prey and kill it. The sharp lower bill of the beak works in coordination with the with the upper edge. The downward facing beak allows the owl vision to be clear, as well to direct into the ears without deflecting the sound waves from the face. Camouflage The coloration of an owls camouflage plays a big role in its ability to sit and blend in with the environment making it nearly impossible for its prey to spot it. Sometimes owls tend to mimic the coloration and even patterns of things. The Barn Owl and or the Snowy Owl appears bleach white mimicking their snowy surroundings perfectly. Like the Muted Wood Owl who displays a shade tanish color of brown making the owl almost completely invisible in the trees, especially from behind. Usually to tell an owl from its camouflaging habitat while perched will be its vocalizations ( sounds ) or its vividly colored eyes. Symbolism and mythology If u went to Africa would you be scared of an owl and think someone is going to die, no im guessing but most Africans believed that owls were harbringers of death. If one saw an owl or heard its hoot, someone was going to die. In general, owls are veiwed as harbringers of bad lick, ill health, or death. The belief is widespread even today Owl Fun Facts Owls are some of the most fascinating and mysterious raptors in the world. While many people know a little bit about these birds of prey, some facts about owls can surprise even the most experienced birders. Owl Fun Fact Owl Fun Facts Owls are found in all different habitats and there are different owl species found on all continents except Antarctica. All owls have upright posture and forward-facing eyes that give them binocular vision, just like humans. 4.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. 5.Several owls species have "ear" tufts on their heads but they aren't ears at all. These tufts of feathers may indicate the bird's mood, help keep it camouflaged or be used to show aggression. 6.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. 7.An owl's eyes are supported by bony eye sockets and they cannot turn their eyes. Instead, owls rotate their heads up to 270 degrees, but they cannot turn their heads all the way around. 8.An owl has three eyelids: one for blinking, one for sleeping and one for keeping the eye clean and healthy.
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