Scientific name: Strix occidentalis
Average weight: 518 to 760 g
Average wingspan: 106 cm (males)
109 cm (females)
What does a owl look like?
Owls have short, thick bodies; strong, hooked beaks, and powerful feet with sharp claws, or talons.
Most owls have feathers on their legs and toes. The feathers protect them from the cold. There are tufts of feathers that stick up like ears on an owl's face. But they aren't ears at all! In fact, nobody knows what they are for. How strange. An owl's large ear openings are on the sides of its head. The stiff feathers around the eyes act like an antenna. They reflect sound toward the ear openings.
Where do owls live?
Owls live almost everywhere in the world where there is land, except Antarctica and some islands.
Some owls like dark, damp forests of old trees. Others choose sunny, dry fields or hot, sandy deserts. Some owls live high in the mountains, others in deep canyons or near swamps. Some live inside caves-or even under the ground. Some owls like cities or farms, where they rest on buildings or fence posts.
One owl, the snowy owl, even lives on the frozen tundra. The tundra is a large, almost flat plain of the Artic region. There are no trees in the tundra.
What does a owl eat?
Food preference depends on the owl species. Most feed on insects, birds or small mammals, but some species, such as the Pel's fishing owl, feed on fish. Owls ingest all parts of their prey — skin, bone and feathers. After several hours they will regurgitate the indigestible bits in the form of a pellet, which are collected in their nest or roosting site.
When do owls hunt?
Owls are the silent hunters of the night. At first glance they may look like a typical day-flying predator, like the hawk or eagle, but their special adaptations allow them to find prey under the cover of night. Large eyes collect all available light, even if it's only the light of the moon; their sensitive ears can hear the tiniest scampering sound of prey; and soft wings make them silent stalkers.
Did you know this about owls?
Though they cannot move their eyes side to side, owls can turn their heads three-fourths of the way around.
Owls have binocular vision, are far-sighted and have a hard time seeing things up close. They have large eyes and see in the dark exceptionally well.
Download free Owl wallpapers, click on the image to open the large version.
Owl wallpaper 1
Owl wallpaper 2
Owl wallpaper 3
Owl wallpaper 4
Owl wallpaper 5
Owl wallpaper 6
Owl Coloring pages
Print free Owl coloring pages, click on the image to open the large version.