Owl – Nighttime Hunter
Owls are birds of prey. They are nocturnal birds and they are very helpful to people. Owls eat rodents, such as mice, gophers, and rats. Some owls eat insects or fish. Owls sleep during the day, hidden among tree branches. They live around the world in almost every kind of habitat.
These birds have a large head, a flat face with large eyes, a hooked beak, and sharp claws. Owls have excellent eyesight and hearing. Because of their soft feathers, owls fly silently and almost always surprise their prey. Owls catch their prey and swallow it without chewing.
Owls cannot move their eyes, but they can turn their heads to the left or the right almost all the way around. The head snaps back so quickly that people think owls can turn their heads all the way around.
Owls were associated with Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom.
Common barn owls live all over the world, except in Antarctica and Micronesia.
The cactus ferruginous pygmy owl is the most endangered species of owl in the world. It is one of the smallest of the owl family, usually measuring less than 17 centimeters long. The bird has yellow eyes and an unusually long tail for an owl. They eat birds, lizards, insects, small mammals, frogs, and earthworms. It usually nests in holes in trees or in cacti in early spring. The female lays 3-6 eggs at a time.
The northern spotted owl is one of three subspecies of spotted owl. This owl has chocolate brown feathers with white or light brown spots. Females are slightly larger than males. They eat mammals (especially the northern flying squirrel), birds and insects. The female lays 2 to 4 eggs. This owl lives almost exclusively in old–growth forests dominated by Douglas fir, western hemlock, and redwood trees.
The snowy owl breeds in the tundra of North America and Eurasia.
The burrowing owl is a species that inhabits grasslands and prairies in southwestern North America, southern Florida, and parts of Central and South America. This species hunts during the day.
People in many cultures see owl as a wisdom keeper, patron of the dead and the guard of another world.
Owl – Nighttime Hunter
Owls in art
Wisdom Keepers – mystic beauty of owls
Photos of wonderful owls by photographer Brad Wilson. Visit his site www.bradwilson.com to find more amazing pictures.