Owls are nocturnal hunting birds with eyes that face forwards. They are closely related to hawks. Owls sleep during the day and emerge at night to hunt small prey.
Owls Owls are a group of mainly nocturnal birds Owls are raptors or birds of prey They hunt for their food Belong to the order Strigiformes Eighteen species belong to the family– the Barn Owls More than 194 known species belong to family Strigidae Found on every continent except Antarctica Great variety of habitats Thick forests to open prairies Range in size from 4½″ to 33″ Females are about 25% larger
Behavior Great Horned Owl • Most Owls hunt at dusk and dawn • Spend daytime in a quiet, roost • Owls normally do not migrate, except in severe Northern climates • Normally roost singly or in pairs – may form flocks • A flock of Owls is called a Parliament staff.washington.edugreat_horned_owl_02tk.jpg
Snowy Owl www.photo.net snowy-owl-1.4.jpg
Burrowing Owl Senses • Range of hearing similar to humans • Highly sensitive to noises made by movement of potential prey • Can accurately detect direction of sounds • Extremely acute eyesight • Sees well night or day • Eyes fixed in sockets • Can only look straight ahead • Turns head to see surroundings • Head can swivel 270° http://www.southwestbirders.comburrowing%20owl_012_2s.jpg
Great Horned Owl staff.washington.edu great_horned_owl_01tk.jpg
Owls have a large head and large eyes that face forwards (unlike other birds, whose eyes are on the sides of their head). This eye placement gives them binocular vision and very precise depth perception. Also, there are circles of radiating feathers surrounding each eye, giving them a wide-eyed, alert look. Owls cannot move their eyes within their sockets like we can. In order to look around, they have to move their entire head, which has a range of movement of about 270°.
Spectacled Owl staff.washington.edu spectacled_owl_03tk-.jpg
Prey and HuntingOwls are carnivores that hunt during the night (they are nocturnal). They use their keen sense of sight to find prey in the dark (owls see mostly in black and white). They have an acute sense of hearing which also helps in finding meals. Owls are stealth hunters, they can easily sneak up on their prey since their fluffy feathers give them almost silent flight. Owls have two methods of hunting Perch and pounce - the owl waits on a low tree branch until it spots prey. It then swoops down onto the prey. This method is used often by owls that live in relatively dense forested areas. • Quartering - the owl flies low over the ground looking for prey. This methods is used often by owls that live in relatively clear landscapes. • Owls hunt and eat rodents, insects, frogs, and birds. The owl is at the top of the food web; it has no major predators.
Western Screech Owl www.owlpages.com w_screech4_dl.jpg
Hunting and Diet Barn Owl • Owls are usually opportunistic feeders • Prey includes invertebrates, fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and small mammals. • Barn Owls eat mostly mice, shrews, and voles • Eagle Owls will eat hares, small foxes, and birds as large as ducks • Regurgitate pellets composed of indigestible parts • Highly skilled hunters • Special feathers muffle sounds of flight • About 24" from prey, the Owl spreads its talons • When striking thrusts legs in front of its face • Often close their eyes before the kill staff.washington.edubarn_owl_03tk.jpg
Snowy Owl www.photo.net-snowy owl-puffed-2.4.jpg
Owls eat smaller prey whole and larger prey in chunks. They eliminate the inedible parts (like hair, feathers, insect exoskeletons, and bone) in oval-shaped pellets.
I can dance! [Burrowing Owl] owling.comburrowing11.jpg
Smallest and Largest: The smallest owl in the world is the Elf Owl (Micrathene whitneyi), which is about 6.1 inches (16 cm) long, has a wingspan of 15 inches (38 cm), and weighs about 1.5 ounces (4g). The largest owls are the Great Gray Owls (Strix nebulosa) [which are about 33 inches (84 cm) long, have a wingspan of about 5 feet (152 cm), and weigh about 3 pounds (1450 g)]
Burrowing Owls Works Consulted The Owl Pages. 23 Nov. 2004 <www.owlpages.com/ physiology/general.html>. Ellie Crystal. Crystalinks. 1995-2004. 24 Nov. 2004 <www.crystalinks.com/totemanimals.html>. Ann Fearrington. North of the Border. 2000. 24 Nov. 2004 <www.studioann.com/trip01_main.html>. The Owl Pages. 26 Nov. 2004 <www.owlpages.com/ mythology/Default.htm>. Spirit of the Owl. 1997-2004. 26 Nov. 2004 <www.ladyinblack.com/animals/owlspirit.htm> Title Page Credit:staff.washington.edu - barn_owl_flying_01tk.jpg www.cpawscalgary.org cw99-schurig.jpg
OWL QUIZ 1. Are owls more active during the day or during the night?_________________ 2. Can an owl move its eyes up and down or left and right without moving its head? ________________ 3. Do owls have good night vision?_______________________ 4. Do owls have a very good sense of hearing?_______________________ 5. Are owls noisy while flying or quiet? _____________________ www.salvor.navy.milPugetSound.jpg
6. Are there many different species of owls or just two? _______________________ 7. Do owls live only in forests or do they live in a wide variety of habitats? ______________ 8. Are owls herbivores (plant-eaters) or carnivores (meat-eaters)? ____________________ 9. Do owls' eyes face to the side or forwards? ______________________ 10. Do owls have good depth perception? ______________________ www.krabach.infoSamish_Bay_Puget_Sound.jpg