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Owls – Birds of Prey and Fascination

Posted on Wednesday, August 17, 2022
by AMAC, D.J. Wilson

Owls are fascinating birds of prey. These magnificent nocturnal and often solitary creatures generally possess large broad heads, upright stances, sharp talons, specialty feathers, and features adapted for silent flight. They also have remarkable binocular vision and binaural hearing, allowing them to fly at night while relying on important senses. Their acute perceptions allow them to adapt to different environments and successfully hunt by noticing even the slightest movement and sound of nearby prey, such as a mouse moving through fallen leaves. The amazing flexibility of the owl’s neck makes up for the fixed position of its eyes. Quite a unique design!

For many years, owls have thrived in a variety of atmospheres, from grasslands and tundra to dense forests and jungles. Some owls nest in vacant trees or cavities of hollow trees, whereas grassland and tundra owls may nest on the ground. Owls are quite mysterious creatures, perhaps related to their nocturnal habits, with peak activity occurring at dawn and dusk, and their ominous sounds under the light of the moon. Often, they blend in with the bark of a tree or other features in the environment and use the gift of camouflage for survival. Though they are often the subject of myths and superstitions, owls are birds of grace, beauty, and strong instinct.

Owls come in different sizes. The Blakiston fish owl is the world’s largest and one of the rarest owl species, with an impressive six-foot wingspan. This big owl is found exclusively in northeast Asia. Their nesting sites are found on large old trees located along streams where they are close to their primary food source, salmon. The smallest owl is the itty-bitty Elf owl, weighing in at less than an ounce and a half. The Elf-owl is a tiny grayish-brown bird about the size of a sparrow and is found in the Southwestern United States, Central Mexico, and the Baja California peninsula. The yellow-eyed bird has a relatively short life span of three to six years, whereas the largest owl can live to be over 20 years old.

Not only are owls beautiful creatures, but they also play an important role in the environment. Most help by controlling the small animal population, particularly rodents, which in turn ultimately benefits the agricultural industry worldwide. Per WCS India, owls are important biocontrol agents, keeping agricultural pests in check and even reducing farmers’ dependence on pesticides. With over 240 species across the world, it’s important that they remain protected from threats of urbanization, illegal trade, and more so that they can thrive and live with humans in harmony.

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Tont Commesso
Tont Commesso
1 year ago

What about the borrowing owl we have them in Cape Coral Fla

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