Owls are gorgeous, amazing creatures that are smart, loving, and full of mystery, and yet unfortunately we get to see so little of them. Owls are masters of camouflage and usually only come out at night. This makes catching owls on camera a bit of a challenge.
Since the earliest of times owls have signified wisdom, as well as death and doom. The thing is, owls are kind creatures that are far from scary. That is, unless you are a rodent, in which case an owl is literally one of your worst enemies. After all, owls are incredible hunters, among other things.
If you never see any owls during the daytime you just might not be looking hard enough. Owls have uniquely colored feathers that contain a lot of speckling and color diversification. This helps them blend into their surroundings perfectly, especially when they close their eyes.
Owls live solitary lives until they find a mate to pair with. Once the ideal mate is discovered, the two owls will stay together for the remainder of their life, becoming very emotionally attached to one another. Owls are often found cuddling and loving on their partners and babies. If one partner dies, the other owl will become very depressed and will often bring about his or her own death.
Meet Zeus, the owl that literally looks like he has stars in his eyes. Zeus is nearly blind in both eyes. He was found injured on a southern California porch. Thankfully, the family that found Zeus did all of the right things, like taking him to get help right away. Due to Zeus’ vision he cannot be released back into the wild, and so he lives a happy life at the Wildlife Learning Center.
See more of Zeus, the rescued blind owl with starry eyes.
Owls are smart, and if food is in short supply they will not breed. Typically owls have about 1 or 2 parliaments in their lifetime. A female owl can lay as many as 10 or 11 eggs at one time, although she will typically produce 4-6. Both parents take an active role in raising their owl offspring, but the male is the predominant hunter and feeder.
Since owls have stationary eyes they must turn their head side to side to gain depth perception.
Owls are great hunters, in large part thanks to their perfectly positioned ears. One ear is located higher up than the other. This asymmetry is in tune with the owl’s brain, which can process 3-dimensional sound maps to better analyze and identify their surroundings.
Just like any animal, owls have dynamic personalities.
There are many different types of owls around the world, as you can see just by looking at the physical differences between the owls featured in this post. The exact number of owl species remains a subject of controversy, as different organizations have different calculations.
In general, there are over 150 different species of owls found around the world. There are unique owl species residing on every continent except Antarctica.
What a hoot!
Photo Credits: Kadir Irkin, Paul Bannick, Peter Stahl, Diane Hammond, Stefano Ronchi, Peter Kreijzl, Mark Bridger, Michael Nichols, Kajornyot Krunkitsatien, Marianna Armata, Mike Kuipers, imgur.com, Austin Thomas, Mohd Khorshid, Werner Bollmann, strangetravel.com, Alex Thomson, Mark Bridger, Mark Bridger, wildlifelearningcenter.com, Donal M. Jones, Leonardo Casadei, hometownperch.com, Graham McGeorge, Robin Utrecht, Rita Ivanauskas, Alex Thomson, Floryn Vibe, Laura Kanter, Deborah Albert